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Customer reviews for Benares, Green Park


12 Berkeley Square, Mayfair, London

4 out of 5 based on 15 reviews
Review Benares Rate and review Benares

Ratings out of 5 are for
Food RatingFood Service RatingService Ambience RatingAmbience
Read the latest 10 London restaurant reviews as submitted by London restaurant customers

3 out of 5
Sunday, August 07, 2011

Food RatingThe food was okay Service RatingThe service was okay Ambience RatingThe ambience was okay

My husband and I visited this restaurant Saturday night hoping to enjoy first class food as we love Asian cuisine.
Although we were on time for our booking we were told our table wasn't ready and would we like to "have a drink at the bar". After looking through the very extensive drinks menu (I kid you not, it was like a small paperback!) we made our choices - we know this is a ploy to get more money out of guests, but we played along, even though this meant adding about 25-00 to our bill before a morsel had passed our lips!
When shown to our table we noticed that some of the main courses were priced at around 50 and more, not including rice or side dishes! We quickly realised that the "Grazing Menu' might be better value as you get around 7 courses for 79 per person, plus the added advantage of being able to sample many different dishes that the restaurant had to offer.
We ordered a bottle of wine to accompany our meal and waited with excited anticipation.
The portions were quite tiny, literally a couple of teaspoons for the starters of which you get 4 samples at each presentation then progressing to a large tablespoon for the main courses ( of which there are 4 samples each sitting) but that is what a sampling menu is all about so we weren't too fazed by that and we enjoyed most of what was brought to the table. There were one or two items that were a little tasteless but overall the food was fine. Our desserts (there were two of them) were fairly typical of Asian restaurants and neither of us enjoyed the minty concoction in a shot glass-rather reminiscent of toothpaste to be honest, but Asian cuisine is not known for its fabulous puddings to be fair!
On completion of our eating experience we felt nicely satisfied despite the smallness of the portions.
On the presentation our bill we were told a 1 charity donation had been added to it which was to a charity that the restaurant was supporting. We were absolutely incensed by this, as we were not asked BEFORE this was added to our bill if this was indeed what we would like to do! We know it's only a pound, but we already give to many charities through my husbands place of work, which is then matched by them (so the charity gets a double donation) but the fact we were NOT asked if we minded giving this donation really annoyed us.
I am sure that by doing it this way they feel that people will be too embarrassed to ask for the donation to be removed - not so in our case- we politely but firmly requested that it be removed. We are not against them supporting the charity or against the charity itself, but i think it is only polite and right to ask your customers if they would MIND giving a donation. Fact is, if they had asked, we would have said yes!
Our bill came to 244-00 for two people, which we thought was very expensive for food that was just..... OK.
2 out of 5
Sunday, August 09, 2009

Food RatingThe food was okay Service RatingHated the service! Ambience RatingDidn't like the ambience

August 2009. A group of 8 of us went to this restaurant and ordered from the al a carte menu.
Food ok but very over priced, extremely small portions for the side dishes at nearly 7.00 each. One starter of scallops were tasteless. No flavour at all and at 13.00 you would expect better. After complaining they did ask if we would like something else but as everyone had finished the starters by then there was no point, we requested that the cost was deducted from the final bill.
Decor very nice and bar staff attentative however it all came crashing down when a rather snotty waitress made a comment to my daughter.
She was seated at the back of the table near the wall and had slipped of her shoes as she has a damaged leg and foot. (she was wearing dark tights) The waitress told her, not politely, to put her shoes back on as she did not look good!!
This restaurant has a dress code of smart casual, we telephoned to check before arriving, and shortly before this comment was made a large group of people walked past our table wearing jeans, t-shirts and trainers. All of the clothes we were told not to wear. On complaining to the manager we found out that this group are regulars and spend a lot, obviously the rule does then not apply.
I asked the manager for the waitress to apologise for her rude comment and had to wait over 40 minutes before asking again. By the time she appeared, rolling her eyes and smirking, we were getting cross.
If you want to be insulted after paying nearly 600 for a meal then this is the place to go. Rude rude rude staff and an incompetent manager who did not manage the situation at all.
Steer clear of this place, not worth the money or the effort.
1 out of 5
Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Food RatingHated the food! Service RatingHated the service! Ambience RatingHated the ambience!

Extremely disappointing experience.

Avoid, if possible.
3 out of 5
Monday, March 02, 2009

Food RatingDidn't like the food Service RatingThe service was okay Ambience RatingThe ambience was okay

Lovely surroundings yes. Attentive friendly staff, if slightly overattentive in that "How is everything with your starter?" way beloved of Michelin successes. Food? Pleasant, but certainly undeserving of the accolades heaped upon it. Kebab platter starter from the tandoor was terrific, although I'd argue that at 19 you'd have every right to expect it to be. Lamb with chickpeas incredibly underwhelming - a decent piece of meat, thoroughly overcooked and with no discernable spicing at all, served on a bed of chickpeas which might have come from a supermarket precook dish. Plain rice is, well plain rice isn't it? And the breads (2 naans and one roti) were fine, but how good does roti get? Sorbets pleasant, but no better than those available from high end high street chains.
I've got to be honest, I think its stratospherically expensive for the quality of food on offer. At half the price, without the surrounding frippery, this would be a decent local restuarant. At 75 a head, I guess it comes down to how great a premium you are prepared to pay for your surroundings. You can eat better indian food for less in quite a few London restuarants.
4 out of 5
Tony C
Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Food RatingLiked the food Service RatingThe service was okay Ambience RatingLiked the ambience

My wife and I celebrated our anniversary here and it was an excellent choice. We went for the Grazing menu, which was fantastic. As each course was served we were advised which dishes to eat first, a nice touch as all the dishes are so delicately spiced. We decided not to have the wine with the meal.
When I initially saw the ortions I thought I would still be hungry at the end but I was so wrong and left the restaurant feeling very satisfied.
Nice atmosphere, tables are not right on top of one another. Service was ok, probably the one area that could be improved significantly. A friend of mine ate there a few days after me and had atrocious service and complained.
All in all it's worth every penny for the spectacular food, but they really do need to look at the service side of things to make it a truly world class restaurant.
2 out of 5
Saturday, April 19, 2008

Food RatingHated the food! Service RatingDidn't like the service Ambience RatingThe ambience was okay

Frankly - dissapointed. Great venue, layout, cleanliness etc, but the food was very third rate for the price. Lamb patties were so overcooked they crumbled off the fork. A 'supreme' of chicken came looking alarmingly like a supermarket breast sliced into four pieces and piled on a pool of overly earthy 'cilantro' sauce - I left most of it. My wife had the shrimp which again were overcooked and tough. The kulfi then came scattered with unedible garnish which had to be pushed to the side of the plate. The wine we felt was corked and eventually got it replaced mid starter after some discussion. We were then subjected to my pet hate of waiters topping up wine and water hoping you'll order another - I don't expect this behaviour at such hyped establishments. Over the years I've spent a lot of time in India (New Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai and Mumbai) eating street food and enjoying places like Bukhara - can I suggest Atul needs to review standards and impose a reality check.
4 out of 5
Monday, May 14, 2007

Food RatingLoved the food! Service RatingLiked the service Ambience RatingLiked the ambience

I really felt bad reading Julia's review , so much that I had to go and try this place for myself. I have just eaten there yesterday and can report on that now. I do think service is good and can be improved. Ambience is great - not much you can say, if restaurant is bustling with people even on sunday night.

Food - hmm- really I can't feel soory for Julia on this issue. It was just spectacular. It is expensive - but well worth it. Bargain hunters should go for their lunch or pre-theatre menus. Wine list is impressive. I tried their tasting menu - that flows like music. It was natural, full of flavours and very artistic.

Julia - may be you should try better company next time.
4 out of 5
Monday, March 26, 2007

Food RatingLoved the food! Service RatingThe service was okay Ambience RatingLiked the ambience

Having seen Atul for the very first time on a TV cooking show my wife i decided to eat at his michelin starred resturant in Mayfair.
The booking was for my birthday and told them this over the phone. The staff booked us a lovely corner table which was an added bonus. The food was brilliant and the waiting staff were friendly and approachable. One small fault is that the waiters are just that been keep in making sure you are serviced well. I think they just need to ease of the pedal ever so slighty giving customers a bit of room.

The atmosphere was superb and so was the food. Seeing whether the menu has changed in the last 8 months i am thinking for booking us there again but this time for my wifes birthday.

Highly recommeded place to eat if you like this type of food!
5 out of 5
Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Food RatingLoved the food! Service RatingLoved the service! Ambience RatingLoved the ambience!

I feel very sorry for S Sod, it is the coolest place in London with greatest of all - service, food, ambience. Shame he can't appreciate good things in life. Been there several times since opening, it has got better and better and better....... - now it is the best.
5 out of 5
Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Food RatingLiked the food Service RatingLoved the service! Ambience RatingLoved the ambience!

I really enjoyed eating here last time and time before last and time before last..... as long as I remember. I find this place very interesting and in very much upper crust.
5 out of 5
Monday, March 22, 2004

Food RatingLoved the food! Service RatingLoved the service! Ambience RatingLoved the ambience!

Just about the best Indian food I had outside the sub-continent. Deliciously spiced and cooked to perfection. Really. Great dining room - no tacky faux-Indian decor here - clean lines and colors. Service was very good and attentive. Not cheap (the lunch menu's a relative steal, however), but definitely worth it. Highly recommended.
4 out of 5
S. Goel
Thursday, January 22, 2004

Food RatingLiked the food Service RatingLiked the service Ambience RatingLoved the ambience!

Amazing service & real proffessional setting. This place is out to set new standards in restaurant industry - others can only follow this. I think food is really versatile & offers wide selection from Indian subcontinent. Expensive Tamarind looks real poor value compared to BENARES.
5 out of 5
A Sodhi
Saturday, September 13, 2003

Food RatingLoved the food! Service RatingLoved the service! Ambience RatingLoved the ambience!

Excellent place for food, wine and ambience.   This just about it - it is the top table of London.
4 out of 5
Saturday, August 30, 2003

Food RatingLoved the food! Service RatingThe service was okay Ambience RatingLoved the ambience!

We dined here on the advice of a British friend who said that the chef was the one who had recently left Tamarind. The restaurant is beautiful and the food just excellent. However, the waiter was just too anxious to push us to order, and then to order appetizers which we didn't want. He pushed just about everything and when we refused the appetizers and just ordered what we wanted he still brough the food in the order he wanted, rather than what we requested. Further, he kept pouring our bottled water and wine as if he wanted us to finish it so we'd order more!

In spite of this waiter, the food was excellent...just about the best Northern Indian food I've had in London.

4 out of 5
Michael Anderson
Monday, August 18, 2003

Food RatingLiked the food Service RatingLiked the service Ambience RatingLoved the ambience!

Even on a Saturday night at least a third of the tables in the large room were empty, perhaps because of the prices which are on the high side. Anybody who has stayed at an upmarket hotel in India will recognise the elegant combination of dark wood, polished stone and whitewash that, combined with mirror-like pools scattered with lights and lotus, gives the whole place a calm and pleasing ambience. The restaurant is no smoking, but a bar area with sofas, armchairs and low tables provided a haven for that after dinner coffee and smoke. And the food .... it was good, but not that good. Crab salad with a huge prawn was pleasing but not exciting. A king prawn main course was reasonably generous with prawns whos texture left something to be desired, in a masala that was, well, pleasant. Lamb was not tender enough and the sauce unexciting. Pilau rice was virtually plain rice, but the smoked aubergine puree was excellent. The wine list has very little south of the 25 mark, and with wine and coffee expect to pay at least 45 each. Great place, (mostly) attentive staff, but the food isn't as good as it thinks it is.