This is my second return to Bentley. Check out the review from the first visit.
We decided to play things a little differently on this visit. The first time we went all out with the degustation with matching wines, cocktails to start and after dessert drinks and coffees. This time we decided to go a la carte. A somewhat scary decision, since whenever I hit up restaurants like this the kneejerk reaction is to go the deg with wines.
Would the a la carte be enough food? How would we go with the limited choice? When will that rash clear up? So.many.questions.
The answers would be yes, very well and it depends on whether this new cream will work or not.
Instead of getting an entree each we get 4 of the dishes from the appetiser section and split those. They're refined tapas and they're pretty bloody good. The kingfish ceviche is light, tangy and herbal, which is a pretty ace way to start. Beef tartare with spherified wasabi is delicious, beautiful to look at and moreish as hell (which is moreish, from all reports). Smoked eel parfait succeeds because of it's clarity of flavour and mix of smooth and crunchy texture. Foie gras parfait with puffed rice and pickled raisin is a total stunner: smooth, crunchy, sweet, savoury, fatty, acidic. Probably the dish of the night.
The wine list has the whole range of champagnes from Jacques Selosse, one of the best, most unique small houses on the market, so we opt for one of those. And it's spectacular.
For mains we go for the capsicum and pepper flavoured lamb with chick peas. Like a homely stew in terms of components, but with an excellent clarity of flavours that gives the dish real excitement. The other option is the mulloway with a whole bunch of things I forget. It's perfectly cooked, light, excellently balanced and delicious.
To finish, the date custard with musk meringue and rockmelon sorbet has a great balance of flavours and textures, but my vote goes to the liquid mandarin which combines mandarin done in various ways with chocolate. A perfect expression of winter.
We finish and realise that even though we went a la carte we tried 8 different dishes and spent more all up. A curious result that will require more testing in future.
Excellent flavours, casual vibe, solid staff, excellent wine list. Bentley is still not up there with Marque and Quay in my opinion, but it's one of the best of the rest.
RATING: Will return to [?] (unchanged)