Outside, it looks like any other unassuming bar but inside... the restaurant is really something else. Dark and sophisticatedly mysterious with plush sofas, nature art, golden mesh lamps and wooden fit outs left, right and centre and you've stepped into a hip restaurant of the 21st century.
We begin with bread from Iggy's; a tad too charred but scrumptiously chewy.
|DUCK LIVER FOIE GRAS PARFAIT 14|
with Pickled Carrot and Cocoa
Who would of known carrots, chocolate and foie gras to be such a good combination? The bitter cocoa goes marvellously well with the rich and fatty parfait. I love the fact that it was just so dense with the tartness of the carrots really enriching the flavour.
|ROAST DUCK BREAST 38|
with Broccolini, Nettle, Turnip and Nameko
The 4 Courses of Sweets for $40 was a cracker of a deal and were too good to pass up. Quinnels all round.
with Geranium & Fresh Fruit
|FROZEN GOATS CHEESE MOUSSE|
with Violet, Buckwheat Praline & Passion fruit Ice Cream
Hand in the background courtesy of D. Thank you very much. This is the sort of food I'd like in a 'progressive' restaurant. The mousse was indescribable, not icy at all but not creamy in the sense that it is melting. You must eat it for yourself to see. The dish basically sings passion fruit flavour and was such a joy to eat texturally.
with Coffee, Red Currant, Marco Polo & Fig Leaf Ice Cream
I'm a bit more iffy about this dish because the chocolate custard didn't really hit it for me flavour wise. Overall, the conglomerate of flavours made the dish feel very... disjointed. The beautiful figs and fig ice cream were delicious though.
with Sesame Meringue, Nougat & Apricot Sorbet
Gimmicks shouldn't come at the cost of taste and for the most part, Bentley does food with aplomb and brilliance. Mid afternoons are the best time to get there, with barely a person in sight although service can almost come to a standstill, however soothingly so. The rare dish can often become a haphazard of confusion in flavour but they are always thoughtful and intriguing from start to finish. There's such a respect for presentation and texture combined with a progressive creativity that's almost unseen these days. I hear the wine here is as adventurous as the food is. I would not hesitate to go back there again for their tasting menu save for the fact that the only thing stopping me is the 20 minute walk up the mountain that is Foveaux St.
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