Thursday, March 08, 2007

Bentley Bar & Restaurant, Crown St, Surry Hills

Bentley Bar & Restaurant, Crown St, Surry Hills
Thursday 8 March, 2007
Open for almost 12 months the Bentley Bar & Restaurant has received plenty of accolades. From Sommelier of the Year, Nick Hildebrandt to Best New Restaurant it's almost peaked too soon. I couldn't wait to get there myself and check it out.
Ex-Moog chef Brent Savage has created a modern European menu with Spanish influences. There's a bar menu that offers tapas plates that looked really appealing but our intention was to sit and enjoy a meal in the compact, red themed restaurant.
Located on the city end of Crown St their signature dish is published as Warm shellfish salad; pan-roasted snapper with sweet corn, black funghi, zucchini flower and squid ink. It sounded great but the menu offered far more appealing options. We arrived on this rainy, hectic Thursday night and were warmly greeted. I love a good welcome, not over the top and not dismissive, just right.
We decided to try their degustation menu - 8 courses for $95pp - this was really reasonable considering the variety and quality of the food. I was impressed by almost each and every plate the was delivered to our table (expect that plate of summer, miniature vegetables that tasted bland, not cooked through and let the standard of our other dishes down).
The highlights were the unique almond milk gazpacho delivered up front on a tray. It was also served with a single silver spoon carrying a citrus flavoured oyster and a chorizo sausage slice wrapped in a soft shell taco. The variety of flavours and the creativity behind the dishes and the presentation were fabulous. Also, worth mentioning were thin rolled slices of duck (lean and delicious), the flat pork belly (tender and exquisite) and for dessert the complimentary offering of espresso gelato and egg whites - the marriage of coffee and fluffy egg whites was intriguing.
Our waiter was attentive, helpful with our wine choice and discreet when topping up glasses. He cleared our plates immediately and allowed us ample time between courses. The service was really good and unpretentious.
I enjoyed the experience and would happily return to sample some more food and explore the wine list further.
Bentley Bar & Restaurant - 320 Crown St, Surry Hills - (02) 9332 2344


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