Michelin-starred Benares unveils new tasting menus

Earlier this year, Benares Mayfair was the only Indian restaurant in the UK to pick up a new Michelin star – no mean feat in three lockdowns, and Executive Chef Sameer Taneja has used any down time to refine and develop his tasting menus.

With exciting new dishes, playful presentation and a modern take on recipes grounded in tradition, Chef Sameer, with meticulous attention to detail, has created a sensational dining experience reflective of his own food journey.

Taking spices and influences from throughout the Indian sub-continent, every dish features impeccably sourced British ingredients and showcases highly honed cooking skills. With a nod to India’s street vendors and the country’s coastal regions, to popular meat dishes from the North, expect to be captivated from the first bite.

Embark on your culinary journey with spiced corn Street Snacks to start, beautifully presented under a bonsai tree as a salute to all the hardworking roadside vendors in India who seek shade beneath trees.

Next up is the perfect palate cleanser – a flavoursome soup-based Australian Winter Truffle Shorba – followed by a refreshing Porlock Bay Oyster and Cured Sea Bream Chaat.

Chef Sameer’s produce-led ethos and coastal inspiration continues to shine through the next two courses, featuring Baked Malabar “Hand Dived” Scottish Scallop with Crispy Bread Podi, served in the shell with gentle spices, and Tawa Masala Wild Halibut with Portsmouth Clam Moilee – a nod to South India with fresh coconut flavours.

It’s back to land with the Tandoori Muntjac – venison cooked in a spicy marinade served alongside a Garlic Yoghurt and Chilli Chutney, before the Iced Sherbet palate livener and an elevated version of a classic chicken tikka, with tender and fragrant Baby Poussin Tikka Masala. Round off the menu with a sweet Rasmalai; a quintessential milk-based dessert popular in eastern India.

The vegetarian tasting menu includes a Samosa Tartlet Chaat with Mint, Tamarind and Ginger; a Chargrilled Vegetable Momo with a Beetroot Salsa and Smoked Tomato Chutney; and a Sealed and Baked Golden Vegetable Kofta in Rich Cashew Nut and Kashmiri Saffron Korma.

Prices start from £109pp (£98pp for vegetarian) and there’s also an option to add wine pairings, with Captivating Wines available at an additional £65pp and Prestigious Wines at £95pp.

Tasting Menus can be enjoyed in the main restaurant or in one of the four private dining rooms. The Chef’s table (seating up to eight) provides a front row seat into the inner workings of the kitchen, The Sommelier’s Table (seating up to 10) features a fine wine wall whilst The Berkeley and The Dover room can comfortably seat 16 and 36 diners, respectively.