Celebrated Chef Atul Kochhar is best known for his London-based Michelin Starred Restaurant Benares as well as the award-winning destinations Sindhu in Marlow (UK), Indian Essence in London (UK), Rang Mahal in Dubai and most recently Hawkyns in Amersham (UK). He recently came back to cook in India after twenty-two long years.
London chef Atul Kochhar brought his Michelin-starred Benares restaurant to Bengaluru for a one-night-only pop-up. It was so amazing watching Michelin-Starred Chef Atul Kochhar cook!
True to it’s name, Benares delivers acclaimed modern Indian cuisine as chic as its location in central Mayfair in London. Putting progressive Indian cuisine on the map, this restaurant also got Atul Kochhar his 2nd Michelin star.
The excellent menu on the 9th of April was pièce de résistance which took diners like us to a sublime high with dishes such as Pan Seared Scallop with Jhal Muri, grape and ginger dressing; chargrilled Scottish salmon with coconut and curry leaf sauce and of course the sweet master stroke – Rhubarb Bhapa Doi and Gulab Jamun Brulée. The gala evening was a befitting finale to the 3 days Atul Kochhar experiential at Ritz Carlton Bangalore.
Indulgence overload: The one-nigh- only pop-up featured a seven-course tasting menu, with separate offerings for vegetarians and non-vegetarians.
It is high season for salmon and lamb (in England) right now, so they were on the menu. In addition to the lamb served rogan josh style, the chargrilled Scottish salmon was served with a coconut and curry leaf sauce. There was also pan-seared scallops dressed in grape and ginger, and served with Jhal Muri, as well as Indian five spice pickled prawn.
The vegetarian menu was fairly matched with a quinoa and black-eyed bean tikki, tandoori-spiced vegetable pie, and khumb moilee (edamame stuffed Portobello mushroom in a coconut and curry leaf sauce). For dessert, Kochhar served an inspired rhubarb bhapa doi with gulab jamun brulée. Lip-smacking!
“In my restaurant, I’m confident of doing it. In Bengaluru, I partnered with Ritz-Carlton because I know the team, and Executive Chef Anupam Banerjee is an old friend who I have worked with.”
“This is the current tasting menu from Benares (England), so whatever is happening in London, you’re going to eat the same thing in Bengaluru” he explained.
“I use British ingredients and give them an Indian twist, and the menu reflects that,” says the chef. “Rhubarb is an English vegetable, and though we grow it in India, it’s mainly for medicinal purposes rather than culinary consumption,” he states. “It’s in season right now in London, so we decided to use it in the dessert. This menu brought the English seasons to India.”
About Atul Kochhar!
As the very first Indian chef to receive a Michelin star, accomplished during his tenure as Head Chef at Tamarind in 2001, he then went on to open the highly acclaimed Benares Restaurant & Bar for which he was awarded another Michelin star in 2007. With regular return trips to his native country, India, Atul ensures that his creative dishes continually evolve and continue to surprise and delight the senses. He has had the honor to cook for Prince Charles at St. James’ Palace and was invited to meet Her Majesty, The Queen too!