Bentley Oyster Bar and Bistro

UPDATE: 26th November 2013

While this meal continues to live long in the memory for all the right reasons, I would strongly advise that you do not give this institution your cellphone number when booking a table. I have been spammed several times each week since our visit inviting me to sample their bottomless ribs, steak and oyster special or a “classic comedian” (amongst others).
All of these messages clearly contravene the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act of 2002 by having no opt-out link within them and by not having my express permission to contact me in this way in the first place.
It’s putting me right off the place. A lot

Not to be confused with Bentley’S Oyster Bar & Grill – that’s in London. But this one is tucked just off Dreyer Street in Claremont, Cape Town and we went there last night.

And before we even got there, the free, secure underground parking was a big plus, especially given the miserable weather.
But then, first impressions of the actual restaurant were mixed: the place looks great – big bling, mirrors, phat couches, heavy silk curtains and chandeliers. But it also looked very empty. In fact, aside from a couple of guys at the bar, it was just us. And that’s never a great ad for a place.

Still, there’s a good choice of local (mainly Bosun’s) beers on tap, an interesting selection of cocktails and the menu does look fairly awesome, with Tapas, Oysters (durr!) and Mains all very tempting. I began with a Johnny Gold Weissbier and Mrs 6000 had their (generously measured) eponymous Bentley cocktail and we chilled to the 80s mixtape (Paul Young, The Cure, Evoid, Duran Duran).
All was good as we headed starterward [menu].

I had to try the spicy Bloody Mary Oyster shot and I was not disappointed. It was super tasty and did everything it said it would and left me ready to hit the mains. Mrs 6k played safe with the deep fried Camembert, coated in black and white sesame seeds and cranberry sauce – amazing value at just R20. I should probably slip in a quick word about the service here, which was prompt and attentive (as it should have been with no-one else around), but not too much “in yer face” at all.

Then it was fish time. A really decent sized portion of Norwegian Salmon for the missus, cooked to perfection and served with roast potatoes and spring veg. And I went large with their Seafood Platter.

One word (unnecessarily punctuated): Su. Perb.

Because let’s just run through what exactly that entails, shall we?

4 really, really good fresh oysters, 2 deep fried oysters, 6 prawns, a big chunk of linefish (Kingklip, last night), tentacles and 6 mussels, served with rice, chips and veg. I didn’t know where to start. It seemed to go on forever. But was I paying for quantity and no quality?
Well, no. Every last mouthful was wonderful. Best value ever at R180.

After all that, there was no room for dessert, but next time, their Deep Fried Strawberry Fritters (served with cream, butterscotch sauce & sparkling wine) are getting a beating.

I can only guess that this place caters mainly for the Claremont Business District and is busier for lunch and for post-work drinks (they have specials between 4 and 6 each day), and also on Fridays when they have a resident DJ in. Hopefully, that allows them to keep going through quieter nights like yesterday, because already, I can’t wait to go back.

Bentley Oyster Bar and Bistro, Toffee Lane, off Dreyer Street, Claremont, Cape Town.
+27216713948.

This is not a sponsored post:
“I’ll always tell you if I am endorsing a product in exchange for cold, hard cash”.

  • As big fans of (the real, in London) Bentley’s, The Doctor and I went to check this out a couple of weeks back, only to find that they weren’t trading at lunch anymore. The offer to return that night – when a DJ would be in attendance – was politely declined. But the amusing thing was the owner’s response when we asked if there was any connection with (the real) Bentley’s. No, said he – just as we noticed the enormous murals depicting (the real) Bentley’s – “although I was involved in their interior design/renovation” (I forget which).

  • Jacques Rousseau > Oh dear. I’ve never been to the London one, but the reviews (as noted x1,000,000 while writing this post) seem almost too good to be true. It’s a real institution.
    But last night’s meal was really good, if a little odd to have the place to ourselves, so I hope it survives. Maybe give it another try (but not on a Friday) (or at lunchtime).