Varanasi Restaurant Reviewed by Andre

Varanasi is a strikingly decorated place wherein to dine. The cost of the refurbishment, well over a year ago now, was an estimated 4 million pounds and this is very evident by the sheer opulence and quality of the internal décor.
The dramatic deep colored and affecting interior décor is clearly southeast Asian influenced. On arrival, we were gob smacked at the sense of theatre evident for arriving diners. The tunnel entrance is adorned with two rows of Buddhas, on either side of the pathway leading in. This theme of Buddha statuettes is repeated throughout the restaurant. The tunnel then opens up to an impressive bar area. This is further accompanied by a beautiful and equally impressive waterfall feature. Then there are gold leaf painted artworks and frescos painted throughout the restaurant.
The restaurant is vast.Spread over three floors with the bar and reception area on the first ground floor. The bar area on the ground floor seats over fifty people in the reception bar area. On the second floor two hundred diners could easily be seated.
The beautiful hand-crafted chandeliers were imported from China. Most of the remaining furniture has been sourced directly from Dubai and Asia.
There are a total of two private dining areas that are opulently decorated. They each seat between 20-30 persons to dine. The restaurant could easily accommodate any purpose to dine. Whether for social, romantic, or business get together. The entire menu has been created by Alfred Prasad, the Michelin-star chef and the vast kitchen is led by a total of fourteen chefs.
We first feasted on the Karara, Crispy Soft Shell Crab, radish salad and Mango dressing at £14. A delicious dish fusing the sweet of the Mango with the slightly sharp taste from the radish and the succulent flavours of the Crab.
We followed this dish with the Organic Salmon Tikka, Caramel Roasted Pineapple Relish for £12. The full bodied sweet of the Caramelised relish brought out the full flavour from the Salmon which was cooked beautifully to allow the fish to retain its moist succulence. A beautifully prepared dish.
Then we opted for the Nawabi Spiced Lamb Seekh, Cumin Mint Chutney at £10. For great fans of most variations of Lamb, we were not disappointed. This was a mildly spicy offering tempered by the cooling subtle effect of the mint against the Cumin.
Our next selection was the Tandoori Wild King Prawn, with the Spicey Beetroot Ketchup. Commonly one of the most flavorsome seafood dishes at anytime, here it was made more so by the sweet and sharp complementing spicy beetroot ketchup. At £13.
For our first main. We chose the Malabar King Prawn in Chef Special Spiced Sauce. One of my favorite dishes of the evening. Utterly flavorsome slightly more hotter than mild and I couldn’t eat enough of this dish! Again expertly prepared to not overpower the Prawns, yet complementing and accentuating its latent flavor. All for £22.
Our next choice was from the Bowl Curries selection. The King Prawn Bhuna with potato at £22. A sweet and totally satisfying slightly hotter than usual version on an Indian Classic. Full flavored, not too hot or heavy a dish, yet just right for many diners and at anytime of the day. The dish was offered at £22.
For our sides we chose the Black Lentil for £8 and the Dal Fry at £7. We also chose the Steamed Rice and the Garlic Naan for £3. This was our second trip to Varanasi and over one year after our first visit. General Manager Mohammad Hussein has succeeded in maintaining a high standard for diners in one of the most opulent and striking places to dine in the UK.
In fact the team have created one of the very best restaurant experiences that I have had. The service was responsive, rapid and the staff were excellent.
We would highly recommend this restaurant for all dining expectations or needs. The experience created, is of the highest standard yet managing to be great value for money. Thank you.
Varanasi, at 184 Broad Street, Birmingham, B15 1DA.
Rated an impressive 5 stars out of 5!