Restaurants

Bentley Restaurant and Bar: Surry Hills

Since Head Chef Brent Savage and sommelier Nick Hildebrandt opened The Bentley in 2006, the Surry Hills restaurant has maintained a two chefs hat rating in the SMH Good Food Guide.

Bentley Restaurant and Bar

Situated along Crown Street, in the vicinity of Low 302 Bar, Shady Pines Saloon and Pocket Bar, the dining room with its dark wood tones still retains a refurbished corner pub look, despite some modern touches, an illuminated bar and a wire wine rack against a wall.

Bentley Restaurant and Bar
Bentley 75 cocktail – Plymouth gin, sloe gin, apricot, rhubarb, topped with soda water

The occasion is dinner with good friends from out of town, which means a night off from lugging a large camera and taking notes of every dish which makes this review rather brief.

Bentley Restaurant and Bar
Bread and olive oil

Bentley Restaurant and Bar

Pumpkin Custard with Pumpkin Seed & Goats Curd – smooth and creamy dish with salty chips; the pumpkin seeds add a texture and a nutty flavour

Bentley Restaurant and Bar

Beef Tartare with Liquid Wasabi – a fresh and flavoursome dish with tiny croutons for crunch and globules of liquid wasabi imparting a delicate flavour

Bentley Restaurant and Bar

Smoked eel parfait with white soy, kombu & seaweed – the seaweed jelly is skilfully wrapped around the smoked eel. This dish has a creamy texture and smoky flavours and it simply melts in the mouth on contact. Voted the favourite entrée on the night.

Bentley Restaurant and Bar

Roasted venison with hazelnut, cauliflower and salsify – tender and flavoursome with a light nutty flavour

Bentley Restaurant and Bar

Fillet of Black Angus Beef with carrot, azuki bean & white sweet potato cake – tender, perfectly cooked tender pieces of beef that melt in the mouth.

Bentley Restaurant and Bar

Slow roast duck breast with cuttlefish & mushroom – plump duck breast, tender, juicy, and big on flavour. This was the standout main course.

Bentley Restaurant and Bar

Maize Chips with creamy aioli – crunchy chips with a dense texture

When it comes to dessert, there is an option of a dessert tasting menu with four mini desserts or larger servings a la carte.

Bentley Restaurant and Bar

Deconstructed strawberry Eton mess – light, fruity and summery

Bentley Restaurant and Bar

Passionfruit ice cream with goats cheese, violet & buckwheat praline – like some pieces of art that defy words, the combination is simply stunning on the plate and the palate

Bentley Restaurant and Bar

Cashew custard with roasted white chocolate & pear sorbet – a textural dish with intricate flavours and elegant presentation

Bentley Restaurant and Bar

Liquid mandarin with liquorice & dark chocolate – the must-have dessert…

Bentley Restaurant and Bar

After breaking the chocolate casing – one taste and you’re ready for an encore

Bentley Restaurant and Bar

At the Bentley Restaurant and Bar, there is a wow factor involved with each course. From the elegant presentation of dishes as edible art to the combination of flavours and textures, every dish is a winner. The ambience can be a little at odds with food that belongs in fine dining served in a revamped pub setting, so it rests on the company you’re with.

While the food is of high calibre, service is on the reserved side and at times can be standoffish. One expects a little more enthusiasm and engagement when the dishes are served and wine recommendations are sought. And with a 9pm sitting and early closure on a Friday night, you can feel a little rushed at times, particularly if you like to enjoy a digestive after a great meal.

The Bentley is often regarded as a special occasion restaurant but it need not be. It succeeds in offering most elements of a fine dining experience in casual surrounds.

The Bentley Restaurant and Bar
320 Crown St
Surry Hills NSW Australia
www.thebentley.com.au

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About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.

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