Autumn is a time of festivity. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Harvest festival and the Hindu festival of light, Diwali. Celebrated worldwide it is in India that the streets come alive with lights, fireworks and candles and this year the five day festival is being celebrated in London at Michelin-starred Benares Indian restaurant in Mayfair.
An eight course tasting menu has been created by chef Atul Kochhar, forget your bland korma and replace with decadent lobster moilee salad, turbot Malvani tikka and Calcutta batak (duck breast). Refreshingly there is a whole separate menu for vegetarians so rather than searching for a little green ‘V’ on the menu and then finding yet another mushroom risotto you can enjoy aubergine fritters, paneer rogan josh and a Tandoori spiced globe artichoke. And because the festival is all about lights, colour and sweets, petit fours, chocolate samosa and Gulab Jamun brûlée are firmly on the menu.
The actual Diwali festival runs from 11th to the 15th November but the good people at Benares know that everyone loves a celebration so they are running the menu the whole week – Monday 9th to the Sunday 15th, and if you visit on the 11th (the main day) you will receive a Benares candle to continue the celebrations at home.
Runs from 9th-15th November at Benares, 12a, Berkeley Square, London W1J 6BS