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“A bit hidden, but you must give it a try!”

Bentley Oyster Bar & Bistro
Ranked #43 of 49 Restaurants in Claremont
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Reviewed June 10, 2013

We went last week, and it took us a little too long to find the place as it is tucked up a side alley. Not the best location for a restaurant unfortunately, but you should not let this put you off. Once inside, the layout is attractive and the staff are friendly and attentive. The oysters are definitely the highlight of the menu - fresh, tasty, well shucked and with a great choice of serving options to choose from! We also tried a few dishes from the tapas menu and I must mention the excellent smoked chicken wings. The owner, Jacques smokes them using oak shavings and then covers them in Jack Daniels sauce, very tasty!
We will be back again to try the rib eye steak, but do give Bentley a try!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
4  Thank William S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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27 - 29 of 29 reviews

Reviewed May 28, 2013

After hearing of Bentley's opening a few months ago, we had been looking for the opportunity to give it a go and finally the right time arrived last Friday. The experience was one of the most polar mixed bags I've experienced - some incredible positives and some real let-downs.

Let's start with the positives:

The oysters were incredible! I've eaten a few in my time and I was incredibly impressed. The plain oysters were incredible fresh, of ample size and delicious. I also noticed that they were perfectly shucked - no sign of grit or shell anywhere and ideally loosened for easy consumption.

I've also never been particularly adventurous with regards to oysters but this time we went all out and tried as many variations as we could, from the creamy risotto to the deep fried cajun oysters and they were all delicious. I would highly recommend just giving all these options a try.

Admittedly, we didn't try any non-oyster food to be able to comment on that.

The venue is also very nice. It reminded me a little bit of places in Manhattan with its ample bar area for a pre-dinner drink and modern meets classic decor. I'm no interior designer but I thought the space had been done beautifully. There's also quite a cool little drinks/smoking area outside the restaurant which I imagine will attract the happy hour crowd.

Having said all these great things, there were some real problems:

The ambiance was spoiled by the playlist. Admittedly, we arrived fairly early in the evening and things felt a bit better once a few other diners had arrived but the choice of music was about as poor as it could be for a Friday night - we listened to almost an entire album of Enya! I've got nothing against the music but it's hardly the kind of upbeat and ambient stuff you want to listen to while having a few drinks and eats on a Friday! Sorting the music out will make a massive difference.

The service wasn't great - mostly because they seemed understaffed. When we were among the only ones in the restaurant, the single waiter was quite attentive but by the time the restaurant was half full, things started to unravel. We ordered our oysters in two lots and the first set of empty plates sat on our table for about 20 minutes before they were cleared. We were never offered a drink after our first round. When we ordered some more oysters, we waited about 45-60 minutes for them to be served. The hostess did apologise and offer us a complementary drink and explained that quite a few oyster orders had come in at the same time - but he place was half full - what happens when it's packed?

I do believe it was not the staff's fault but the fault of staffing however. There was only 1 waiter and 1 hostess which is pretty unusual for a restaurant in CPT, especially on a Friday. There was a bar tender but he didn't seem to get involved in the restaurant's affairs. I can only assume that there were not enough people in the kitchen either if shucking the oysters caused such a delay.

All of this is such a shame because if they just fix the service and the music/ambiance, I could see this getting 5 stars from me. It's worth a visit for the oysters, just be aware of the issues mentioned above!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2  Thank phaedon83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 4, 2016
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Thank Indiana42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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