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Review

Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill

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Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill
11 – 15 Swallow Street
London W1B 4DG
Tel: 020 3157 7027

A stalwart of the London restaurant scene for almost a century, Bentley’s has seen owners and chefs come and go. Not many though have been of the illustrious reputation of current proprietor – renowned chef Richard Corrigan – who certainly knows how to do justice to the establishment’s seafood cooking.

With an al fresco terrace to boot, the Victorian building spreads the operation over three floors, with the oyster bar on the ground floor emanating a retro feel with the decor and offering an all-day menu.

Fish and all kinds of crustacea are the prime players here no matter where you are seated though the main focus is on the handsome upstairs grill.

Starters may include a highly welcome macaroni dish of lobster and basil or even a clear and simply made house offering of Bentley’s fish soup. There are of course a number of non-seafood options such as a warm salad of wild duck with winter fruits and black pepper soup.

For mains, the roast wild sea bass is very nicely partnered salsify, blood orange and brown shrimp. However, the one false note comes with the seared scallops with horseradish and lemon pickled grapes. The portion is ample, but instead of using some kind of sauce to lift the dish, one gets an accompaniment of an ill-judged sardine paste, rendering the flavours to be unappetisingly dry.
Things are back on track though with desserts such as the lovely carpaccio of pineapple with a sharp coconut and lime sorbet.

Bentley’s isn’t cheap, but then the experience of dining here is also quite elevated.