Last year saw a growing trend in street food cuisine, which led to many high-profile restaurants following suit, including Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar who introduced a street food menu in the bar area of his restaurant, Benares. After a successful trial period on the tail end of last year, Benares’ street food menu has now got a full-time home. And it’s no surprise because the bite size treats are simply exquisite.
Each dish has been inspired by a different location in India, since Benares itself is named after a holy city in the country.
The Pickled Prawn on a bed of Crispy Rice Pani Puri pays homage to Mumbai and it’s a gem of a bite size treat, with the tamarind sauce on the side sweetening it lightly.
The Quinoa Salad with Spinach and a Red Onion Bhajia is a tribute to Kolkata and on presentation it looks fantastic, what with its semi-deconstructed appearance.
There’s a lot of seafood options on Benares’ dine-in menu and the Grilled Curry Leaf Seabass and Kachumber Salad on the street food menu is a tribute to Goa, India’s most famous seaside city. Not what you’d most likely expect or think of from an Indian restraunt, which is what I believe makes this option so good. It’s different and it’s delicious.
The best options on the menu, however, are the classics: the Crispy Tikka Naan with a Smoked Tomato Dressing pays homage to the Punjab in North West India and the Lamb Kofta Roll with a Mint and Coriander Salad is a tribute to Lucknow. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. The chicken has a lovely smoked flavour, while the lamb is easily the outstanding winner here.
If you find yourself in Mayfair and you’re seeking something lighter than a hearty meal then look no further. The Benares street food menu is here to stay and I am damn happy about that.
For more information visit benaresrestaurant.com