Benares & The East India Company Gin’s New Collaboration Menu!

January 29, 2018

Ahh Benares – it’s one of my absolute favourite, luxurious, fine dining restaurants when it comes to Indian food.   Michelin starred and with the fabulous Atul Kochhar at the helm, I love nothing more than sampling Benares’ new menus in Mayfair as often as possible – lucky that there is always something new to try!

With the most perfect of pairings, for the month of February, there’s a new, rather delicious set menu which will please all lovers of Indian cuisine and gin!

With a range of starters, mains and desserts carefully curated by Atul to reflect the food eaten in his homeland and inspired by his visits there, you’ll also get to indulge in a delicious cocktail per course, made with The East India Company Gin and created to perfectly compliment the food courtesy of Benares’ head barman Stefano Marchetto.

Which mouthwatering starter options on offer including South Indian Tellicherry Pepper and Tamarind Soup, Oyster Pakoda and Bhaitti Spiced Guinea Fowl Tikka with Smoked Aubergine Purée, we loved the Cassava and Mango Ginger Tikki – slightly crispy on the outside, with potatoes, onions and a range of gorgeous spices on the inside, served with a sharp tomato and mustard chutney.  With this course, we enjoyed the ‘Ginger Sparkler’ which proved to be the perfect accompaniment.  A cheeky combo of gin, fresh lime juice, Angoustura Bitters and sugar syrup served in a tall Collins glass with plenty of crushed ice, this was the perfect drink to get the tastebuds going!

Next came the fresh and zingy  Tropical Punch made with The East India Company Gin, fresh lemon juice and fresh pink grapefruit juice.  A fabulous palate cleanser to prepare us for our main course, we enjoyed Fennel and Carom Pan-Fried Sea Bream served with a beautifully creamy mustard mash and a slightly sweet coconut and kokum sauce.  We also devoured hot Tandoori bread, rice and lentils – such a great feast!  Other mains to choose from include the Fenugreek Flavoured Chicken Supreme, Kadai Pepper sauce, leafy Baby Spinach and Royal Mysore Kedgeree, Crispy Lentil Pearls and Curry Lead Dressing.

My favourite cocktail of the night was one worth waiting for.  Served with dessert, the Gin Sour Twist is a concoction to savour, so don’t drink it all in one go!  With The East India Company Gin mixed up with fresh lemon juice, orange bitters and egg white, which is then shaken with homemade jasmine syrup using The East India Company Gin silverneedle and jasmine flower tea, this seriously tasty drink is a match made in heaven with the Galum Jamun and Mascapone Delice.  A light, traditional Indian dessert with a signature Kochhar twist, I loved this final course, but other offerings include the Coconut Panna Cotta or Cranberry Flapjack.

Being The East India Company’s very first gin in its 400 year history, it captures perfectly the history, heritage and journey of the company, mixing exotic botanicals for a fresh juniper, citrus aroma, a nutmeg, warm spices and liquorice taste with a hint of cocoa, with a light peppery finish.  This particular gin is a great choice for the new set menu, available throughout the whole of February (three courses £35 with paired cocktails for an additional £25), while there’s also a special ticketed event happening on 7th February – see the website for details.

Written by Luxuria Lifestyle UK’s Ashleigh Whitfield

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