Madrid’s reputation as a European culinary capital just got a boost. Atul Kochhar, the first Indian chef to garner a Michelin star, is opening Benares Madrid this month.
But rather than create a carbon copy of his famous—and wildly popular—Benares in London’s Mayfair neighborhood, Kochhar has eagerly enhanced his repertoire of modern Indian cuisine with the delicacies of the Spanish larder. Hence, you’ll find starters like pekorah with boquerones (anchovies) and Spanish staples like calamari and octopus on the menu.
Order the six-plate (not counting the amuse bouche and petit fours) tasting menu for 65 euros or opt to add wine pairings for an extra 30. On the à la carte menu, starters average 20 euros and mains—including “Atul’s Signature Curry” (lamb Rogan Josh with saffron and fennel)—are about 30 euros.
Garnering the opening even more attention is the fact that Benares took over the space once occupied by the now defunct Anapurna, long considered the gold standard of Indian cuisine in Madrid.
Renovations took nearly a year and the new interior with elaborate carved wood and blown-glass details promises to keep this particular spot on the radar of gastronomes for the foreseeable future.
Andrew Ferren is on the Spain beat for Travel + Leisure. He lives in Madrid.