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Bengal - Buenos Aires

 Buenos Aires, Retiro

%

Overall Rating

  • Ambience 90%
  • Service 80%
  • Food (Execution) 85%
  • Creativity 90%
  • Value 90%
  • Logistics 80%







Details for Location Reviewed
Bengal - Buenos Aires

Locale: Buenos Aires, Retiro
Address: Arenales 837
Telephone: +54 11 4314-2926
Restaurant Type: Formal Dining, Upscale Casual
Cuisine:
Service Type: Table Service
Price: $$$$
Menu items offered:
Hours:
Restaurant Details
Bengal - Buenos Aires

Locale: Buenos Aires, Retiro Address: Arenales 837

Telephone: +54 11 4314-2926

Restaurant Type: Formal Dining, Upscale Casual
Cuisine: Service Type: Table Service Price: $$$$ Menu items offered:

Hours:


View the menu for this restaurant


Summary

Bengal is Ollio O's choice for Indian cuisine in Buenos Aires. Sophisticated decor and real Indian cuisine. That's right. Garam Masala and Basmati rice. Best Indian food option in Buenos Aires, reasonably priced. Oddly, Bengal also serves Italian cuisine, but there are better options for Italian food nearby.

Resumen del crítica

Bengal is Ollio O's choice for Indian cuisine in Buenos Aires. Sophisticated decor and real Indian cuisine. That's right. Garam Masala and Basmati rice. Best Indian food option in Buenos Aires, reasonably priced. Oddly, Bengal also serves Italian cuisine, but there are better options for Italian food nearby.

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Restaurant Review for Bengal - Buenos Aires

 

Review by: Ollie O
Rating: 4.4 stars
Review Date: 09/13/2015
Bengal is a restaurant serving Indian cuisine. Is that right? No. Bengal is a restaurant serving Italian cuisine. But wait! That’s strange. It’s both. I suppose in a city where all the steakhouses serve pasta dishes, albeit bad pasta, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a restaurant serving Indian cuisine does the same.

Yes, that’s right. Bengal has the distinct honor of being the only restaurant we’ve seen in Latin America (or in the entire world for that matter) that is both an Italian and Indian restaurant. And, as is customary, there’s a grilled steak on the menu. Welcome to Buenos Aires.

Here’s the strange thing about it, they do them all better than most specialty restaurants. The execution on the Indian cuisine is better than the Italian, but the pasta dishes are acceptable. The risotto was bad, but that’s true at every Italian restaurant we’ve been to in Buenos Aires except Cucina Paradiso and L’adesso.

Originally, there was a single location in Retiro. That location has a sophisticated, elegant ambience. No stereotypical or gaudy Indian décor. There’s professional lighting. It’s a very nice atmosphere.

Sometime around 2016, these restaurateurs began collaborating with a boutique hotel chain, CasaSur, to offer a restaurant adjoining several of the hotels. Since that time, they’ve opened locations at the CasaSur hotels on Callao in Recoleta and on Cabello (CasaSur Bellini) in Palermo Zoológico.

The décor in the Callao restaurant is similar to Retiro location. The décor on Cabello in Palermo Zoológico is more casual and minimalist. But the menus are identical in each restaurant, each having that strange mix of Indian and Italian cuisine.

Service has been good although it was slightly better in Retiro than at the Cabello location when we visited in late-2017.

In Retiro, we ordered the Rogan Josh, a staple of Kashmiri cuisine, that despite its northern Indian and Persian origins, is popular in the eastern Indian Bangali regions now comprising Bangladesh and West Bengal. It’s also popular in British adaptations of Indian cuisine in London. The dish was traditionally made with chili paste ground from fresh chili peppers but is now more commonly made with a mixture of dried ground paprika and cayenne pepper. Either way, it’s a hot dish. I was quite surprised that the cooks did not tone it down more than they did. The dish was delicious with sufficient heat and spices to give it the flavor this fabulous cuisine deserves. Be forewarned, all the dishes on this menu are a bit more “picante” than the Argentine palate is accustomed too.

The second dish was a Bangali Chicken Curry, a dish flavored with garam masala and a heavy dose of turmeric that gives the dish it’s characteristic yellow hue. Both dishes were served with Basmati rice which was a rare and delightful surprise since it is imported.

We were impressed that the menu was not significantly modified to appease the sensitive palettes of the locals. This was Indian food, true to form, in an elegant setting.

There are also several vegetarian options including vegetable Pakoras and Somasas and a vegetable curry dish.

The prices were just barely higher than average for restaurants in the neighborhood but quite frankly, the décor, service and food were a cut above most everything else.

I’ve tried a couple of Italian dishes at the Cabello location. The pasta was acceptable. The texture of risotto was horrible. I made inquiry. They do not use an imported carnaroli which explains the failure of the dish. But the same can be said for the most expensive Italian restaurant in the city, Piegari, and of the risotto I was served at nearby Olivetti. Both were horrible risottos as a result of using an inferior rice.

The Logistics score is a bit low as the restaurant has website, only a Facebook page. No menu is posted on that page. And reservations are not available on third party reservation systems. Luckily, the restaurant is rarely so busy that reservations would be necessary. Restaurants serving quality Indian cuisine in Buenos Aires are a rarity, thus we gave Bengal a relatively high creativity score. The prices are better than reasonable, with almost every dish below US$10 (ARS$200).

At one time, this was the only restaurant serving Indian cuisine in Buenos Aires that we would recommend. We’ve recently upgraded Tandoor which had improved on ambience and food during a recent visit. We think both are now acceptable options for Indian cuisine.

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