Benares

Having a child radically changes your life and thinking. Each year, for our anniversary, we do fine dining at some posh restaurant. We get dressed up and prepared to splurge on a fancy meal. This year as I began looking for restaurants there was a new criteria: the venue must be child friendly. With our son being only six months old and with no one to keep him, he would have to join us for dinner. The search was on!

These days, I wait eagerly for Michelin to announce their list of Michelin starred restaurants in London. We’ve done The Circus Restaurant in Bath and Da Terra in Shoreditch, London. Would I be able to find a Michelin starred restaurant that is child friendly? My search was made easy by using OpenTable. They curated a list of venues I could choose from. The website or app is simple and easy to navigate. If you’re struggling to find places to eat, this must be your go-to solution.

Having developed a strong liking for Asian food, I selected newly Michelin minted restaurant Benares, Mayfair. I made the booking and enquired about taking our son. They were fine with that. A table for three was reserved.

Upon arrival, I sat at the bar and waited for my wife. When she got there, they escorted her through the kitchen with the pram and all. From here to the end of the evening, the service was impeccable. I was really impressed with the pleasantness and politeness of everyone. The warmth in the ambience was more than the lights and heating because the staff was genuinely warm and welcoming. The service is exceptional!

Starter

Hiran Boti Kebab

This venison was so tender and juicy but the clincher was the marinade. As a Caribbean native, there is nothing like well seasoned meat. The starter was a sign of things to come. Interestingly, we managed to have quite lovely chat with Assistant General Manager, Mr. Mukesh Pandey. Over a few brief moments we were exchanging stories about parenting and childhood, something neither of us expected to happen here today. This conversation added to the whole evening’s experience.

Mains

Chooza Tikka Masala

Lamb Chops with spinach puree and crispy anchovy

It is now said that Chicken tikka is the national dish in the UK. What is sure was the absolute pleasure we derived from this Chooza Poussin Tikka Masala. The garlic and coriander nan bread was the perfect complement. I am tempted to say this is the best lamb chops I have had. Such was it’s splendid taste and texture that I find it unrivalled. All those lovely Indian spices blended accurately to remove any pronounced flavour. It’s not possible to forget the aroma, they were mesmerising and tantalising. We took baked rice and a serving of Dal makhani as side orders, suggestions from our server, who was spot on.

Desert

Rasmalai Mille Fuill

My wife was hesitant about desert as neither of us had ever hear of these sweet treats. The Indians are known for there plethora of sweet dishes and I was not about to pass up an opportunity to taste one. I ordered the Rasmalai Mille Fuill. No, I did not try to pronounce the name. Just told the server, I want “that one.” This piece of art was divine. Safron infused milk is added as the finishing touch, an amazing fusion of tastes and textures. Everything melts in your mouth but the flavours linger.

During the course of the evening our son required feeding. Seeing that we do strictly breast feeding, we requested if there was room or space that could be used. My wife and son were ushered into a private room where she could feed our son. These are logistics that could easily throw off any evening if not handled appropriately. I am happy to say we were expertly catered to by the staff at Benares. This is an experience we will never forget. The occasion marked our fourth wedding anniversary and our son’s first dining out experience.

Extra touch…

Thanks for a night to remember Benares!

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