Having earlier labored as Head Chef at Benares, before leaving to start his personal enterprise in 2015, Sameer Taneja returned to the restaurant in 2019, taking the place of Executive Chef. Shortly immediately after Sameer Taneja joined, Benares was also awarded a Michelin-star in 2021, acquiring invested most of 2020 closed as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic.
At Benares, the Delhi-born chef takes advantage of his classical French training in equally Indian and French delicacies to showcase refined dishes employing large quality British substances enlivened with authentic Indian spices and approaches. The final results are attention-grabbing, forward-thinking nonetheless comfortably in maintaining with the traditional high close restaurant aesthetic Benares has upheld for above 15 several years. Guaranteed, the windowless dining room will not be for all people, but both the food items and polished support lend a real feeling of celebration, anything we’ve been stripped of for considerably also long.
At lunch and early dinner, Benares serves a set menu presenting good price at £33 for two classes, or £39 for three classes. An a la carte menu is also, but if visiting for supper it’s truly worth buying the tasting menu (£123), featuring high-conclude requires on typical Indian avenue food items. In addition to the simple fact that it does not drag on for hrs, the tasting menu looks new and thrilling, rather than an egocentric parade, as is so usually the situation with Michelin-starred cafe tasting menus. Wine pairings are also accessible with the 10-training course tasting menu, with glasses chosen from the restaurant’s record of above 400 wines.
Through a new evening meal at Benares, the tasting menu began with a round of sophisticated poppadoms and berry chutney, quickly adopted by a variety of fried street food items-impressed treats and a small teacup filled with creamy rooster and chestnut shorba, crowned with fresh Italian summer months truffle shavings to lend profound decadence.
A distinct nod to Indian street suppliers adopted with a chaat of Porlock Bay oyster and fixed sea bream, all served in cleanse oyster shells with just a drizzle of tiger’s milk dressing, blobs of coriander gel and masala chana for further crunch: a glorious symphony of contrasting, albeit complementary, flavours and textures.
Also served in its shell, hand-dived Scottish scallops have been flawlessly cooked – baked and presented in a south Indian Malabar sauce, flippantly spicy and lifted by the sweetness of coconut, which complemented the sensitive scallop’s flavour with out too much to handle. More professional fish cookery adopted with a tranche of wild halibut in a spicy tawa masala marinade with Portuguese affect, simply served with Portsmouth clam moilee. A delicate, refined dish organized with utmost precision.
Pursuing a refreshing lemon and pea fruit soda palate cleanser, Tandoori Muntjac arrived. Two hunks of great-high-quality venison were being cooked pink (as they really should be) and cloaked with a herb-pushed marinade, plus garlic yoghurt and chilli chutney. A basic, perfectly-executed meat dish.
Even superior, nonetheless, was the Benares riff on typical tikka masala with poussin scantily clad with a thick sauce that introduced a great deal of moisture without overwhelming the dish. The fragile spicing was also exceptional, again relinquished from getting overpowering, with exactly judged spices, even further joined by rice and a truly extraordinary dal demanding to be scooped up with the accompanying paratha.
Delicate, spongy rasmalai adopted, flavoured with wonderful kesar mango, delivering a thrillingly light finale along with petit fours of note, such as skinny cinnamon cookies with pearls of tart raspberry gel. Yet another case in point of the striking awareness to depth which permeates the menu at Benares, stuffed with meals which is each refined and archetypal nonetheless pleasantly revitalising.
Benares can be discovered at 12a Berkeley Square, London, W1J 6BS.
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