To celebrate the tenth anniversary of his restaurant, chef Atul Kochkar invited a group of London’s most ravenous foodie bloggers to taste his recent menu at Benares.
We met in the bar, exchanged business cards and slurped down a spicy passionfruit and chilli martini. Taking our seats at the prestigious chef’s table, we chatted about our recent culinary experiences whilst admiring the busy kitchen staff frying, tossing, plating and garnishing with great precision and speed.
A delightful personalised tasting menu awaited our palates, and while the food arrived a knowledgeable sommelier offered glasses of carefully paired wine.
To titillate initially a tiny chicken tikka cone… it was a little odd eating pureed chicken but no-one could deny the wonderfully aromatic taste. Fennel-infused lamb chop was rich and flavoursome, presented with a majestic mustard-marinated king prawn; pan-roasted wild sea bass with vermicelli, coconut and curry leaf sauce was a light and fragrant next course. Roasted rump of cornish lamb with shoulder samosa, potato and broad beans was a delicious mix of British ingredients, Indian spices and innovative Atul Kochkar creativity.
Wines were selected from all over the world to ensure the body and flavour perfectly suited the food.
Just before dessert we had a mouthful of lime sorbet, a moment to pause and reflect before the final sweet course. Rose and raspberry Bhapa Doi with pistachio Burfi was a creamy fruity pudding, a wonderful mix of ingredients which soothed my palate after all the rich spicy savoury food.
Atul never ceases to amaze me with his inspirational Indian cooking, and ten years after opening, Benares is better than ever. In a country where this exotic cuisine is so popular, Atul provides food of the very highest calibre.
More info here: www.benaresrestaurant.com
Read about my first trip to Benares here.
You can also read about my trip to Atul Kochkar’s other restaurant, Indian Essence.