Before Christmas, a new restaurant called Varanasi opened on Broad Street. But it's not quite what you'd expect from this part of town. The press release promised a giant, underground, opulent Indian dining 'experience'. I'll be honest, I was worried it would be a case of style over substance but as far as I can tell I was wrong.
We were able to have a tour around, try some cocktails and a few nibbles. We had to walk through a long corridor from reception and were let in to the upstairs bar where there was a waterfall, believe it or not.
After a lovely glass of champagne, I tried one of their cocktails: a lychee martini, with rose syrup. I wasn't sure of the point of the rose syrup as it just sunk to the bottom and couldn't be drunk. This was a pleasant enough (if rather sweet) drink and looked pretty but I hope they have some more grownup cocktails on the menu.
A tour showed me two large restaurant areas and some private dining rooms, all decorated in a lavish fashion which isn't quite to my taste but is appropriate to the theme and isn't too cheesy.
I enjoyed my evening at Varanasi. The decor is good fun and the private dining rooms would be the perfect place for a celebration meal. I'll look forward to heading back for a proper meal.
Varanasi, Broad Street
Food and drink were complimentary for review purposes.
Photos by Helen and Edd.