Benares Chef’s Table

For a special occasions it is well worth considering the Benares Chef’s Table. It is the best chef’s table we have dined at so far in London and highly recommend it if you are looking for a special private dining room. You’ll find Benares restaurant on Berkeley Square in the heart of fashionable Mayfair. Benares is a Michelin stared restaurant and is owned by Atul Kochhar, the very first Indian chef to receive a Michelin star.

Benares chef’s table is in a atmospherically darkened raised room with the table set against a huge window that spans across most of the kitchen. You get to see the tandoori, curry and sauce sections. You can also see all the action at the pass where the head chef interacts with the waiters.

Andy and I had previous had Lunch At Benares in the main dining room, and was blown away with the exquisite Indian food. Atul is known for being the vanguard of Indian food. So, when it was Andy’s 50th birthday, and the kids were looking for somewhere really special to book a celebratory meal, I mentioned how excited Andy had been when he spotted the chefs table here.

 

Benares Chef's Table. Outside Benares.
The men in their ‘Steed’ jackets.

It was great to see the guys dress up smart in their Steed jackets.

 

Benares Chef's Table. The Bar.
Dark and sultry bar.

You head upstairs straight into the sultry bar. They serve the most incredible cocktails here! So, my advice would be to arrive half an hour early so you can sample at least one!

 

Benares Chef's Table. Making Cocktails At The Bar.
Making cocktails at the bar.

The cocktail waiters are in constant motion. You’ll see all kinds of techniques going on. One day, I’d love to sit at the bar and watch it all up close.

 

For a special occasions it is well worth considering the Benares Chef's Table. It is the best chef's table we have dined at so far in London and highly recommend it if you are looking for a special private dining room. You'll find Benares restaurant on Berkeley Square in the heart of fashionable Mayfair. Benares is a Michelin stared restaurant and is owned by Atul Kochhar, the very first Indian chef to receive a Michelin star...
Gorgeous cocktails.

The cocktails are of a really high standard and you’ll find a few with a really fun element. Mine had a limoncello sorbet in a cone on top!

 

For a special occasions it is well worth considering the Benares Chef's Table. It is the best chef's table we have dined at so far in London and highly recommend it if you are looking for a special private dining room. You'll find Benares restaurant on Berkeley Square in the heart of fashionable Mayfair. Benares is a Michelin stared restaurant and is owned by Atul Kochhar, the very first Indian chef to receive a Michelin star...
Smoked whiskey.

James’s was smoked in a jar and poured over the orange zest.

 

Benares Chef's Table. Taking Photos.
We were all taking photos.

After a while of enjoying the delights of the bar we were taken to the table. We are a party of 6 but it can accommodate 9. The room wasn’t as dark as this picture suggests but it’ll give you an idea of how up close and personal we were with the head chef and his kitchen.

 

Benares Chef's Table. View Of The Kitchen.
Huge window with a view straight onto the kitchen.

The Head chef (below with the beard) was pointed out to us and all the sections of the kitchen. It was ridiculously exciting. We almost felt involved in the cooking processes.

 

Benares Chef's Table. Head Chef.
Head chef.

 

Benares Chef's Table. Dining Table With A View.
Enjoying the view of the action.

You get a choice here of À la Carte and Tasting menus, both with matching wine options.

 

Benares Chef's Table. Table setting.
Table setting.

We all opted for the tasting menu. I think that you either all go ‘tasting’ or just stick to the À la Carte. We didn’t go for the wine tasting, although we would have loved it.

Time flies pretty quickly with so much activity to watch and talk about in the kitchen.

An amuse bouche of moderately spiced sweet potato arrived with a light airy cream over the top.

 

Benares Chef's Table. Amuse Bouche.
Amuse Bouche – Sweet Potato.

The Michelin stared kitchen was in full swing. You don’t get to hear anything through the glass window, but it’s easy to imagine the clattering of saucepans.

 

Benares Chef's Table. Busy Kitchen.
Busy kitchen.

The chefs work quickly, but there is a calm, organised and highly professional atmosphere.

 

Benares Chef's Table. Chefs In The Kitchen.

 

Our shellfish dish arrived and incredible smells rose up from the plates.

 

Benares Chef's Table. Shellfish Starter.
Shellfish: Pan sheared scallop, slow roast tomato, pine nut podi, Indian five spice pickled prawn.

It’s exciting to try so many incredible morsels on one plate. The scallop and prawn had sweet caramelised crust and soft flesh.

 

Benares Chef's Table. Enjoying The Shellfish Course.

 

We actually saw the scallops being cooked and the plates being finished at the pass. It builds a great sense of anticipation!

 

Benares Chef's Table. The Pass.
The pass.

As we discuss the art of cooking spices well and how Atul’s food is so incredibly balanced, our wine gets topped up. The service has been seamless all evening.

 

Benares Chef's Table. Wine.
Sommelier pouring wine.

The next course were crispy looking tandoori chicken tikka pies, with golden puff pastry. Each one was to share between two.

 

Benares Chef's Table. Tandoori Chicken Tikka Pie.
Tandoori chicken tikka pie, mixed berry chutney (to share)

It comes with a slightly tart mixed berry chutney. It’s a highly comforting dish.

 

Benares Chef's Table. Inside The Chicken Tikka Pie.

 

The next two dishes have elements from the tandoor oven. I love seeing the giant skewers full of spiced meat coming out of the oven charred and delicious looking.

 

Benares Chef's Table. Tandoori Oven.
Tandoori chef.

 

For a special occasions it is well worth considering the Benares Chef's Table. It is the best chef's table we have dined at so far in London and highly recommend it if you are looking for a special private dining room. You'll find Benares restaurant on Berkeley Square in the heart of fashionable Mayfair. Benares is a Michelin stared restaurant and is owned by Atul Kochhar, the very first Indian chef to receive a Michelin star...
Charred spiced meats.

The bread gets cooked here too. All night the chef was forming them by hand.

 

Benares Chef's Table. Chef Making Bread.
Chef making bread.

The next dish was a sublime chargrilled Scottish salmon. We had seen our Cornish crab croquettes get deep fried. It adds a whole other dimension to eating at a restaurant. Expectation builds as you watch elements come together in the kitchen.

 

Benares Chef's Table. Chargrilled Salmon.
Chargrilled Scottish salmon, coconut and curry leaf sauce. Cornish crab croquette, spiced vermicelli.

Spiced vermicelli, by the way, is fabulous! Have you ever tried these noodles? I recommend you do if you get the chance. They are a really nice alternative to basmati rice.

 

Benares Chef's Table. Curry Leaf Sauce.
Curry leaf sauce.

There is a mild curry leaf sauce with this dish, which brings the whole thing together, and some of the bread we watched being made. It was no ordinary naan bread, rather it was exceptionally flavoured with cheese, spices and herbs.

 

Benares Chef's Table. Bread.
Bread with cheese, herbs and chilli.

Our evening was going wonderfully. We always enjoy being together and in the confines of our own private dining room we felt free to take tonnes of photos, chatter loudly, laugh out loud and pose for photos to our hearts content.

 

Benares Chef's Table. Women At The Table.

 

The action in the kitchen continued, showing no signs of slowing down. I have never seen so many saucepans being used anywhere before, even when my son and husband cook together!

 

Benares Chef's Table. Saucepans.
Hundreds of saucepans!

We had a little breather and was served this refreshing watermelon and ginger iced sherbet. It is designed to cleanse the palette and it really does. I’ve never had this combo before. It’s delicious!

 

Benares Chef's Table. Iced Sherbet.
Iced sherbet: Watermelon and ginger.

I can’t remember what it was that got the boys laughing so much this time, but for once I didn’t have to “shhh” them. We weren’t disturbing any other guests and the laughter was contagious!

 

Benares Chef's Table. Having fun.

 

Benares Chef's Table. A Restaurant Guide.

Benares Chef's Table. A Restaurant Review.

 

The head chef popped in to say ‘Hi’. We were so delighted to meet him this side of the glass. He was really smily and said that the chefs were enjoying our company, which was great.

 

Benares Chef's Table. Head Chef At Benares.

 

He kept a tight ship in the kitchen and calmly checked on the chefs in their various sections. There were still plenty of smiles between them and the odd wave to us. It was a happy and efficient kitchen, making watching them all the more pleasurable. It was fascinating to watch how a Michelin star kitchen runs.

 

Benares Chef's Table. A High End Restaurant.

 

One more bottle of wine was ordered for our last course. The sommelier was very knowledgable which is always enjoyed by my husband who loves to learn more about wines at every chance.

 

Benares Chef's Table. Checking The Bottle Of Wine.
Checking the bottle.

Our final savoury dish was served. It was this roasted rump of lamb and tandoori cutlet, which was deliciously charred on the outside with soft pink meat inside. The knife cuts straight through. The flavours were deep, rich and actual groans of pleasure chorused round the table!

 

Benares Chef's Table. Roasted Lamb.
Roasted rump of English lamb. Tandoori cutlet, rogan jus, dal makhani.

There wasn’t one dish that wasn’t a hit and seeing the cooking through the huge window was an incredibly special experience.

 

Benares Chef's Table. Rump Of Lamb.

 

You don’t have a view of the pastry kitchen, so as we were cleansing ourselves with hot towels we had no idea how the dessert would look.

 

Benares Chef's Table. Cleaning Cloths.
Cleansing cloths.

Meanwhile, we finished up the last of the wine before our dessert, the chefs were still preparing savoury dishes for diners within the restaurant.

 

Benares Chef's Table. Watching The Chefs.

 

When perfectly executed desserts were placed in front of us they looked divine.

The small pot of spiced chocolate lava cake was incredibly rich and intensely chocolatey. The rose bhapa doi was a delightful surprise Soft creaminess and a refreshing rose jelly of sorts was the perfect finish to an outstanding meal.

 

Benares Chef's Table. Dessert.
Rose bhapa doi, spiced chocolate lava cake.

We were served petit fours, but we only managed a nibble as we were so full (the almond crisp was my favourite).

 

Benares Chef's Table. Petit Fours.
Petit fours.

I may have mentioned we were celebrating my husbands 50th birthday and he was surprised with an extra dessert with a candle.

 

Benares Chef's Table. Birthday Dessert.
Birthday dessert.

Not only that, he was presented with a signed copy of Atul Kochhar’s ‘Curries Of The World’ book. It was such a nice touch and Andy was delighted…

 

Benares Chef's Table. Cookbook
Cook book: Atul’s Curries Of The World.

Needless to say we are huge fans of this restaurant and would thoroughly recommend booking the Benares Chef’s Table. The service, food, cocktails and atmosphere have been exceptional. It is very pricy (we were very lucky that our children generously contributed for their Dad’s birthday). If you can manage it, it would be a night that you’ll remember for a very long time.

 

Benares Chef’s Table, 12a Berkeley Square House, Mayfair, London, W1J 6BS.

 

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For a special occasions it is well worth considering the Benares Chef's Table. It is the best chef's table we have come across so far in London and highly recommend it if you are looking for a private dining room. You'll find Benares restaurant on Berkeley Square in the heart of fashionable Mayfair. Benares is a Michelin stared restaurant and is owned by Atul Kochhar, the very first Indian chef to receive a Michelin star...

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9 Comments - Write a Comment

    1. Thanks Becky! Benares is a fantastic restaurant and we have always had an experience there as well as a sensational meal! x

  1. Meal of the year so far for me! So well captured on this post honey👍 I love the tandoor pic, that was a tough one to get!! Thanks to all the family for a perfect gift😃😘

    1. It was really good fun Kate, I hope you get there! The kitchen was busy and cheerful so it was great to see them work. x

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