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bentley's

We went for cocktails in Regent Street and decided to grab a bite to eat nearby. I suggested Bentley’s Oyster Bar and Grill because it has a good reputation and has been on our ‘Restaurants to do list’ for a good while.

It was a Sunday so luckily there was a table available for us. We were seated in the main dining room, which is much smaller than I expected (although there is another dining room the opposite side of the hall and bar). We were seated along the side of the wall with the other diners and my fellow diner sitting opposite me with their back to the bar.

The room is a creamy white and very simple in decor, yet oozing with sophistication. The table cloths were crisp and the table lamps were 1920’s bars stained glass in design. Although clearly catering for the glamorous clientele I found this place lacked any identity and almost felt as if waiting in a doctor’s waiting room due to the lack of space and the fact that all the tables were lined up together in this clinical room.

We ordered a bottle of the Pinot Noir and selected our dishes from the menu and specials black board pinned up on the wall. I have to say the menu is all what you expect from an oyster bar and grill with a nice selection of seafood and steaks.

I ordered the fresh dressed crab with mayonnaise and my friend ordered the fish soup. This came out efficiently and our silver cutlery was adjusted based on the desired dish. My crab was light, fresh and tasty. The meat was simply mixed together and placed in a large white bowl. The homemade mayonnaise sauce was served in a silver pouring jug, which I made the mistake of pouring on without trying. I felt the sauce was just too rich for the light crab meat and overwhelmed the whole dish. My friend’s fish soup was watery and tasteless. This was served in a small bowl with handles and with a cold bun (Shame these were not freshly baked and still warm).

For main course I ordered the Rib-eye steak with spinach and my friend ordered the Vietnamese Style Sea Bass with Tender Stem Broccoli & Green Papaya. I seriously made the wrong choice here as the steak was incredibly grisly and was slightly overcooked for my liking. I can honestly say this was one of the worst steak I have ever eaten and the price was not cheap! The sea bass on the other hand, although not the most beautiful looking dish, was at least edible and the flavours did complement each other. The sea bass was slightly over cooked but the broccoli was tender and the green papaya still slightly under ripe so that it had a nice bite to it.

This place is underwhelming and after my steak experience (which may have been a one off) I will not be going again. For a high end restaurant that prides itself on the best seafood and meats then cooking a simple rare rib-eye steak should not be a difficult task and should not even have a ‘one off’ bad experience in my view. The atmosphere is stuffy lacking personality but the waiters were pleasant and efficient and the dishes on the menu are large ranging and tempting. Sorry I just cannot get over that steak and as a result Sex Drugs and Bacon Rolls give Bentley’s Oyster Bar and Grill:

            Food                       Atmosphere                       Service 

2 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

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