Benares

A little piece of heaven behind the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street

Where? 12a Berkley Square House, Berkley Square, London, W1J 6BS, 020 7629 8886)

Fancy address. Does it live up to its postcode? And more, the restaurant exceeds all expectations the minute you step through the door. Once up the sweeping staircase, it’s a wide expanse of calm and serenity with sunken water features, graced with floating flower heads and tealights.

Swanky place, what about the clientele? Contrary to what you might expect, there’s a refreshing mix of couples celebrating special occasions, families and children, businessmen, plus in-the-know out-of-towners, all after tasty, contemporary Asian cuisine.

Getting hungry? Wait! Head to the bar first and sample the mouthwatering cocktails. Try the Benares Passionate Lassi to get into the Indian vibe, or the Raspberry and Pomegranate Caipiroska if dairy’s out or you’re watching the waistline.

To the main event.. For first-timers the tasting menu is the best way to get a flavour of everything. At £65 a head, you’re served four courses, each with a small portion of three dishes. Think Tarragon Infused Lobster Rillet for appetisers or Tandoor Roasted Quail in Red Chilli and Yoghurt Marinade for mains. And don’t forget dessert – not an Indian sweet meat in sight – more allspice chocolate brownie or Cammomile Panacotta.

Need to know? A new Saturday lunch menu has recently been introduced, so if you’ve had it with the crowds on Oxford Street, feast yourself in this tranquil haven, far from the madding crowd.

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