Michelin star Benares teams up with JING Tea: an explosive culinary experience
Living in London has its perks: you can never get bored with rich cultures rising every day, offering amazing experiences on all fronts, either entertainment or culinary. As it happens, I am quite the gourmand, so finding about new hypes in town and brilliant collaborations, can only spoil me too much. Last evening we attended an amazing dinner at Michelin starred Indian restaurant and bar, Benares, in the heart of Mayfair.
Named after India’s holy city, Benares marries tradition with daring modernity. Atul, the Chef Patron, has transported the beauty and vibrancy of this city into his restaurant, with hand-crafted furniture, water features, and an elegant, exotic interior. Taking inspiration from his native India, while continuously researching regional dishes, Atul has managed to combine his heritage with his love of British ingredients to create a unique and innovative modern Indian cuisine. “Benares is notable for the outstanding quality of the ingredients that the kitchen uses and with the abundance with which they are served.”
The restaurant has plenty to offer, from multiple exquisite dining spaces, to world class menus. Recently, they’ve paired with JING Tea for an exclusive menu inspired from the health benefits of Indian spices and tea. The three course set menu was developed to fulfill a detox need, after a rich ending of 2015, through a healthy-living alternative. The delicious meal started with a Jasmine Silver Needle cold tea infusion, before starters, main courses and desserts are perfectly matched with their own tea. Dishes on offer included Mussles Mappas: served with a Keralan coconut sauce packed with fresh turmeric – renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties, Chargrilled Cauliflower and Broccoli served with a fenugreek sauce – fenugreek seeds improved digestion and help maintain a healthy metabolism, and Tandoor Roasted Pineapple, flavoured with star anise – a spice revered for its medicinal and immunity boosting properties.
Starters were accompanied by a Lemongrass & Ginger Tea – a fragrant and refreshing blend of lemongrass stalks and ginger pieces. Main courses were enhanced by Darjeeling Second Flush Supreme – a black tea with hints of muscatel, resulting in a spicy, deep, fruity taste. The meal ended with a Masala Chai Black Tea to be served alongside dessert – an invigorating, spicy and warming blend of tea and spices. The entire menu can be viewed on Benares website, and at £29 for two-courses or £35 for three-courses, this is one of the best modern Indian dinner I’ve had. The JING Tea pairing is an additional £14, but trust me, it worth so much more, since it is single-handedly the best tea I’ve ever tasted.
Benares should be on your foodie radar, serving Michelin-starred dishes, infusing Indian and British cuisines in a fantastic harmony. The pairing with JING Tea comes along naturally, you’ll ask for more!