All reader reviews by SJM

Bentley's Oyster Bar & Grill

Was looking forward to Bentley's, having been to other Corrigan places, but found the experience distinctly lack-lustre.

The staff were friendly enough but there weren't enough of them for a Saturday night and the service was inconsistent and slow - having to ask twice for bread and butter to accompany smoked salmon which only turned up when I was halfway through, white wine arriving halfway through the main course and dessert wine when pudding was almost finished. I also spotted two obviously senior waiters who seemed to be just standing around and watching - surely, if things aren't running in a timely and orderly way, they should be pitching in and guiding the less experienced staff ?

Food not bad but by no means what newspaper reviews had led me to expect. Decent smoked salmon but four small strips for £11 is hardly good value. Monkfish with cep duxelle in pastry - good quality monkfish, well cooked, but cep duxelle meagre and pastry rather flaccid. Dessert described as blood orange creme caramel, so I was expecting the blood oranges to be an integral part of the pudding but instead a tiny (even by nouveau standards) creme caramel with about half-a-dozen orange segments surrounding it. My overall feeling was that this was a meal that I could have cooked to a higher standard myself without too much effort - and that isn't normally the way I feel about a dinner that costs £70+.

I can't help thinking that after the initial hype and good reviews, Mr Corrigan may have diverted his attention back to his main establishment. If that is the case, he should take the helm again for a while - Bentley's needs some attention.

Sunday, February 19, 2006
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 5 | Service 4 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 4

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