Berkeley Square, the heart of Mayfair and the home of Atul Kochhar’s Benares. Benares was awarded a Michelin star back in 2007 and has consistently delivered ever since! With several private dining rooms and extensive tasting menus for groups, Private Dining London takes a table at this culinary institution.
The inconspicuous frontage of Benares is easily missed but with the dark interiors and delightful reception hosts, it doesn’t take long to feel at home. As you reach the top of the stairs the restaurant opens up to several private dining rooms, the bar and the main dining area. There are four private dining rooms (yes, four!) and all of them have a distinct feel, design and capacity. The Dover Room is the largest private dining room which can seat up to 36 guests on one long table and is a long, dark room that would work well for high end dinners and celebrations. The photographs make it look quite slim but the room is wider than the photo implies. The Berkeley Room is for 16 guests and has a similar feel to The Dover Room. The Sommeliers Table for 10 guests has glass walls so isn’t completely private and guests are surrounded by bottles of beautiful wines and bubbles. For the ultimate experience, The Chef’s Table can seat up to 9 guests and would work well for client entertainment or small birthday celebrations. From this private dining room you can see all of the action, including the two Tandoors (one for meat and one for breads) plus all of the fresh dishes being prepared. Watch the Chef’s make your menu and follow it from kitchen to your table.
We feasted on so much food that we aren’t quite sure where to start! For larger meat-eating appetites, the Tandoori Ratan starter is perfect and features four meats (Chargrilled Sea Bass, Chicken Tikka, Ajwaini King Prawn and Lamb Seekh Kebab) whilst the delicious signature soft shell crab, Karara Kekda, served with mango chutney is just as delicious. For main course, we chose the recommended Changezi Chaapein (Smoked Lamb Cutlets) and the Celebrity Masterchef special of Hiran Ke Pasande which is New Forest Venison and a chocolate curry. Completely unusual but delicious for diners that like rich, warming dishes. We’re really pleased with our choices of dessert too, including the Rose Bhapa Doi which is like a thick Rose Cream served with Hibiscus Raspberry Tea Jelly and Almond Burfi as well as their take on an Apple Crumble.
We love the fact that the private dining and restaurant wine lists feature some of Kochhar’s own creations and it reminds guests of the host’s thoughtful choice of venue, menu and wines. The staff (thank you to Arnaud, Mukesh and Ben) gave us excellent service and had good attention to detail which continues to the events team - every menu in the private dining room is signed by Atul to give that personal touch. Overall, the Michelin starred private dining expectations were met at Benares, we cannot wait to go back.
Benares, 12a, Berkeley Square, Mayfair, London, W1J 6BS
If you’re interested in booking one of the four private dining rooms at Benares please do call our team on 02081085918 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org.