Varuna, a luxurious space inside the Taj Gateway Hotel is known for its refined menu and the fancy decor seem incongruous with Varanasi and its constant horn-honking, traffic-jammed existence.
Under the glow of candlelight and with the sultry music playing a peace and calm pervades. In India this can be priceless.
The Monster is hugely tired and can hardly keep his eyes open. It takes most of the rest of his energy just to open the menu.
The order this evening:
Benaresi satvik is a pure vegetarian thaali prepared without onion or garlic and using minimal spices served in a traditional bensari silver platter with small bowls. This as they say is food of the gods.
Murgh mal palak is roasted chicken tikka cooked in a rich tomato based gravy with chopped spinach.
Baingan kalaunji is slow cooked aubergine with secret masala.
Garlic naan and cheese kulcha round out the meal.
Ravenous from the day’s excursions the food is gone in minutes. It is good, though not the best meal enjoyed so far in India. That being said, it is hard to get a bad meal in this country.
By the end of the meal The Monster may in fact be sleeping in his chair. He’s not quite sure.
The prices are fair and the service is professional so there is much to like here.
Why go? It’s quiet. And you need that. Desperately.
Monster rating: 3/5 Monsters
22 Gulab Bagh, Sigra, Varanasi 221002, India