Berkeley Square, Mayfair, Central London, W1J 6BS
Led by Atul Kochhar, star of the BBC's Great British Menu, Saturday Kitchen and Market Kitchen, Benares is probably the very best Indian restaurant in London. Benares offers exquisite Indian food and a fine-dining experience - as you would expect from the chef who secured one of the first Michelin stars ever awarded to an Indian restaurant in Britain. As soon as you walk through the door, the impeccable service and deluxe decor of stone floors, dark wood, taupe upholstery and cream walls make it clear this establishment is pure class. And the food certainly doesn't disappoint. The emphasis is on sheer quality and, created by the man who sprang to fame reinventing the classic fish and chips as an Indian fusion dish, the food here has a delicious contemporary, Western twist. A starter of spice-crusted hand-dived Scottish scallops with mango and turmeric dressing, and a main course of roasted rack of roe deer with white bean casserole and pickled baby carrots, combine luxury British ingredients with perfectly conceived Indian flavours. With a friendly and knowledgeable team of sommeliers always on hand to help you choose the best wine to go with your meal, Benares delivers an altogether top-class experience, and one I couldn't recommend more thoroughly.