First Post – The Bentley Restaurant & Bar

So a week ago I moved from London to Sydney. A good few months travelling and I’m now faced with the prospect of having to find a job – a man has got to eat….

On the plus side, not working means I have the opportunity to try out a few places for lunch at a slightly cheaper price than evening meal. A trawl of Timeout & SMH (already got the acronyms!) suggested The Bentley in Surry Hills as an interesting place to try. Modern inventive tapas style in a cool part of town.  

7 courses for $50 was the deal. A number of dishes taken from the normal tapas list, though there is an A La Carte menu.

So plunging straight in:

Kingfish ceviche & Serrano jambon

Kingfish ceviche & Serrano jambon

A refreshing starter. The ceviche was lovely & clean. Shame it was only a mouthful. Followed up by the salty ham, it was nice & simple. No complaints.

Eel Parfait with Seaweed

Eel Parfait with Seaweed

Next up, Eel Parfait with Yuzu mayo (I think) and seaweed salad. This again was tasty, subtle & moreish. Eel is one of those fish (it is a fish?!) that people are a little scared of, but the way it was prepared here, creamy and smooth would be a good introduction. The seaweed also worked well as a bit of acidity and wasn’t just window dressing.

Squid, squid ink rice & chilli cream

Squid, squid ink rice & chilli cream

The Squid was possibly my favourite course. A great classic combination, but presented in a slightly innovative way. The chilli cream was lovely, with a nice hint of heat, but nothing overpowering.

herb gazpacho with a potato & chorizo crisp

herb gazpacho with a potato & chorizo crisp

This was another refreshing dish. The Gazpacho was silky and smooth and the Chorizo & Potato crisp gave something gutsy to stuck into (although 1 bite..)

Slow cooked egg with pork 'bubble'

Slow cooked egg with pork 'bubble'

Next up, a bit weirdly in the order of things was a slow cooked egg with the yolk just set after being cooked for an hour or so at a low temperature. Obviously someone has a Sous Vide machine. It was wobbly and only just set and could be eaten without having to reach for a spoon . The pork skin on the side was a little bit ‘meh’… Not a particularly interesting dish save for the cooking method. A boiled egg is a boiled egg….

slow cooked Morrocan lamb shoulder with chick peas & chick pea chips

slow cooked Morrocan lamb shoulder with chick peas & chick pea chips

The ‘main course’ was lamb shoulder which had been well cooked till you could eat it with a spoon. It had great consistency, and tasted good with the north african spices. The chips I believe are meant to be a bit of a speciality, but they were a bit mealy and not exactly packed with flavour. But something different to try. 

The dessert was a chocolate granache with orange oil and salt flakes on top. I forgot to take a picture, partly because it was very good and I dived straight in. It had a great thick mousse like consistency with a good cocoa hit, accentuated by the salt (which is a great combination).

So, all in all, a good first meal in Sydney. Some good combinations, well presented with a bit of flair. The lunch deal was certainly worth it and I’d look to go back. With these lunch deals you generally don’t get the most expensive ingredients or inventiveness, so I was pleasantly surprised. I’m going to enjoy Sydney I think.

The Bentley Restaurant & Bar:



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