The Toy Hotel is a boutique property housed in the heart of the city’s southern sectors. It houses 2 restaurants and among them is Benares. While one has heard of a similar and very popular restaurant overseas, the one here in Chandigarh offers a multi-cuisine spread. Housed on the first floor, the restaurant boasts of around 30 covers and there is some seating on the balcony area as well. Given how the weather is changing, the outdoor grill has been put into action. The interiors are quite simple and we loved the mellow lighting and the easy chairs, a design ode to Corbusier it seems. The ode to Benares can be seen in the artwork on the walls. The menu offers a selection of Indian and Oriental fare albeit with a twist. There are the likes of 'Chinese Bhel', 'Avocado Mango Pani Puri', 'Crunchy Ramen Salad', 'Tandoori Momos..you get the drift. There is a good selection of kebabs and tikkas in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. We tried the 'Anari Paneer' and 'Lahori Chicken Tikka'. Both were well done and the latter had a nice, smoky flavour. The main course options are plenty. In fact, it traverses through different states offering everything from 'Jaisalmeri Kabuli Chana', 'Kurkuri Jodhpuri Bhindi' to 'Kashmiri Nadru Yakhni', 'Lakhnavi Kofta Curry' and the likes. The 'Kofta Curry' was well done though our accompaniments – the 'Laccha Parantha' and 'Naan' arrived cold. The staff was quick to make the swap. While we enjoyed our dinner, it was a bit off-putting to go through a stained and messy menu that was ripped too. Also, the bread baskets need thorough cleaning and change.
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