Friday, December 30, 2011

Bentley Restaurant & Bar

UPDATE: Bentley moved from its original Surry Hills location (which my review is based on) to the Radisson Blu Hotel in Sydney's CBD in 2013.

I simply adore fine dinning, there is something about the way the food is presented, how the flavours of what may seem a strange combination of ingredients come together and send your taste buds to heaven, it's addictive. The Two Hats Bentley Restaurant & Bar in Surry Hills is a great place to work your way through some interesting and delicious dishes.

Walking into the Bentley, the first thing I noticed was the brushed metal bar to the right, followed by the wall of wine, it was an impressive sight. The decor is chic and sophisticated. The dinning area consists of oak tables and leather benches, gold lampshades, black drapes and fresh flowers. This is one place I could see myself returning time after time, be it drinking and chatting away at the bar or sitting down for a meal in the restaurant.

For a first visit, the tasting menu is probably the easiest choice, and if you want the full fine dinning experience, the matching wine is a must. I'm not a big wine drinker, but I was very glad at the end of the meal that we got the matching wine, it really made a difference to the meal.

The matching wine is served just ahead of each dish, it gave us a chance to sample them once our waiter had expertly explained the wine to us - the winery that produced it, the grapes that were used and what flavours we should be expecting. We were quite impressed by our waiter's wine knowledge, who informed us that while Nick Hildebrandt is the sommelier, all the waiters have a good knowledge of the wines served in the restaurant.

The tasting menu has 8 courses plus an optional cheese course. Some of the dishes were a bit of a miss, for example, with the Balmain bug with Lamb Sweetbread, Black Bean & Coconut Curd, given the strong tastes of the sweetbread and black bean, neither of us could taste the Balmain bug, which was a shame.

Pork Belly
When it came to the Pork belly with Wattle, Garlic Milk & Rhubarb, opinions were divided. While my dinner companion is not a fan of rhubarb and found the dish pretty average, I really loved it. This is the first time I've seen rhubarb outside the dessert menu, a rather bold dish by Chef Brent Savage.

The Filet of black Angus beef with Carrot, Azuki Bean & White Sweet Potato Cake was very impressive. I was a bit hesitant at first because of the liquorice on the plate. I have never been a fan of liquorice but with a little encouragement, I gave it a try. It wasn't what I had expected, the flavour wasn't overpowering at all. Instead, it complimented the beef extremely well, and the matching wine gave the dish an extra dimension. My taste buds probably thanked me for being brave enough to give the liquorice a go rather than pushing it aside as I originally planned to do. 

My favourite dish on the night was the dessert, Blood Peach with Sesame Meringue, Nougat & Apricot Sorbet. According to my dinner companion, who sat across the table from me, I enjoyed it so much it looked like I was about to do the Katz's Deli scene from When Sally Met Harry. Well, what can I say, that dessert plus the matching wine was ORGASMIC! I'd go back there just for the dessert (with the matching wine of course)!

The Bentley Restaurant & Bar: Ground Floor, Radisson Blu Hotel, 27 O'Connell Street, Sydney NSW 2000  Bentley Restaurant and Bar on Urbanspoon

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