Everything about Benares shows off the intensity and complexity of Indian cuisine and elevates it to a level that is often not attributed to the nation's food in traditional culinary connotations. This idea of Singh's restaurant rising up to command respect is something reflective of a cultural shift that has taken place in India over the years.
A quick look at the menu at Benares, and there's no doubt Singh has played his own role in contributing to this prestige. From elegant presentation to innovative structures, Benares serves up Indian food in a way you've probably never seen before. Take, for example, their Pani Puri Shots––pani puri is a traditional Indian street snack that consist of deep-fried bread with a thin puffed shell, accompanied by a tangy spiced water. At Benares, the pani puri comes in a single bite-sized pastry sitting atop shot of the water. It serves as the perfect amuse-bouche, guaranteed to excite you for the meal to come.
The tandoori entrees at Benares are not to be missed, an authentic tandoor oven making the proteins deliciously smokey and juicy. But, carnivores, don't be fooled––the vegetarian options are nothing to sleep on. If you don't believe me, just give the Eggplant Chaat a try. You'll be amazed the chef was able to pack so many different flavors and textures upon your first bite.
For dessert, there are plenty of traditional Indian sweets to try, such Gulab Jamun, tiny rounds of sweetened condensed milk soaked in syrup, or Gajar Halwa, a carrot-based pudding. But the true standout among the sweets is the Atom Bomb, a delectable chocolate lava cake paired with rose petal ice cream, churned to a thick, creamy Kulfi-like texture.
From the dishes to the dining experience, Singh's passion as a restaurateur shines through. "The business is addictive," he says. Lucky for us, so is his food.
About Benares NJ
Named for the beautiful city in the Western Indian state of Uttar Pradesh famous for vegetarian food, Benares presents diverse, authentic Indian cuisine from across the subcontinent in a contemporary, elegantly appointed setting. Longtime restaurateur Inder Singh (Devi and Balachi, NYC) and General Manager Ranbir Bhatia have adapted the concept of their successful Tribeca restaurant for Bergen County diners, overseen by Executive Chef Mangal Singh and Chef de Cuisine Anil Gonsalves. It's the first of what they hope will be several more NJ locations. Benares is open seven days for lunch and dinner, with sophisticated off-premise catering available. Benares is BYO.
2051, 327 Franklin Ave.
Wyckoff, NJ 07481
Related story: Benares, Longtime Tribeca Landmark for Indian Fine Dining, Opens First NJ Location in Wyckoff