Benares – the return!

It is always interesting doing return visits.  My first visit to Atul Kochhars flag ship London Restaurant Benares was well over a year ago on a Friday evening.

We went for the tasting menu and were blown away by the glorious food and the subtle wine combinations. We’d been to the Cinnamon Club and our experience there with Indian Food Wine matching was scary – give the customer lots of really strong red wine, being the basic philosophy I think. Not so at Benares. Indeed the meal was close to perfect, let down only by the meat course which was fine, but not that different from the sort off food you can get at a good curry house. Ironically our dinning neighbours had the opposite reaction “finally something we recognise” they said. So I guess you can not please everyone!.

Marks of 10

Food 8

Service 8

Ambience 7

Now comes the second visit, it was like going to a different Restaurant. This time I went with friends who were experiencing the restaurant for the first time, it was for Sunday Lunch, on a weekend where Atul was not in the kitchen.  One of my companions had to send her Lamb back, and when it returned (much too quickly) it was still not as ordered. We also had to redirect the waiter to a nearby table that had been trying to get his attention for ages.

Marks out of 10

Food 4

Service 4

UPDATE October 2019 – No longer has a Michelin Star



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The Cinnamon Club – Spicing it up

The Cinnamon Club is probably the most famous high end Indian restaurant in London.  It’s located in a lovely building and has two bars, one in the Library that is cosy and a more flamboyant one in the basement.


Service was a bit lax initially, but it improved after we ordered. We went for a menu with matching wines, which was not very successful. Benares handles matching wines to Indian cuisine much better. The wines at Benares complimented the flavours of the very subtle Indian food. The Cinnamon Clubs Wine matches were competing too much with the flavour, all of them were really heavy and full bodied. I found the whole experience exhausting.

Some friends who visited The Cinnamon Club a few days before us, had issues with not being allowed to transfer the bar bill to the restaurant bill, which was inconvenient as the bar was busy and they ended up having to wait 15 minutes for it.

The restaurant has 2 AA Rosettes, which sounds about right.

Marks out of 10

Food  6

Service 5

Ambience 6.8



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