Monday, 12 March 2012

Review: Bentleys Oyster Bar and Grill, Mayfair W1

We have long been fans on Bentley's Oyster Bar and Grill - I sampled my first ever oysters there, and my other half went to a fantastic Cigar and Whisky tasting evening with them over Christmas - we really didn't think it could get any better.  In case you don't know of it, Bentley's is hidden away on Swallow St in Mayfair - near Piccadilly Circus.  

the huge selection of Oysters  and Yorkshire puds / beef the size of my head

Since February they have started doing a Sunday Steak and Lobster Club - £45 for nibbles, oysters, crab salad, enough meat to start up a farm, pudding and tea/coffee.  When we arrived we were given a drink in the bar and then were taken upstairs to have a look around the kitchen.  The chef team went through the history of the oysters and the meat and gave his some great little canapes (anchovy cheese straws, yum) before seating us in the rather lovely dining area where we were given big Bellini and some yummy breads.

plate of oysters, between two

First course arrives - two plates of oysters between the four of us.  A real mix of flavours - from baked with breadcrumbs to garlic and spinach infused raw ones.  We were already full by the end of that course, thank goodness there was a little break before the crab salad arrived - which was good, but nothing to write home about. Crab meat was exceptional quality though.  Next up - the beef.  My god it was incredible.  Out of nowhere a fleet of staff surrounded our table filling it with mash potato pots, roasted parsnips and gravy boats.  Then along came two of these...

The meat was sensational - tasted so amazing, and mixed with all the vegetables and horseradish it tasted unreal.  We had lots of meat left over, that the waiter put into a doggy bag for us and the chef came around to say hello and talk through the meal and the idea behind doing the Sunday lunch club.  We then had a lemon meringue dessert and tea and coffee - and rolled out of the restaurant 3 hours later.

the menu / Bellini on arrival

If we were really picking them we'd say two things: the horseradish mousse melted too quickly on the plate, and secondly when we asked the waiter what his favourite part of the meal was he said, 'I don't like any of it, I don't eat any other meat than chicken.'  Not very good - but we were 4 bottles down by this point, and the food tasted so good we didn't really care... The bill was expensive,  (£350 for 4 people, with 3 bottles of wine and drinks on arrival) and for that price I do think a waiter should at least pretend to like his menu... But we wholeheartedly recommend a visit to Bentleys... We are still full 24 hours later.

So, our survey says:
Style: 7
Service 8 (would be 10 was it not for the waiter's comment)
Pricing: 8
Taste: 10
Fun Factor: 10
Total: 43/50

Book here: Bentley's Oyster Bar and Grill, 11-15 Swallow Street, W1B 4DG, 020 7734 4756

South Molton St Starving