Test of Time - we make a return visit to Bentley's in Piccadilly

oysters bentleys piccadillyA selection of freshly shucked oysters at Bentley's

Why return to Bentley's now?

Well, the British native oyster season has just started and hands-down one of the best places in London to try them is Richard Corrigan's restaurant, Bentley's. Plus we just love the place, so any excuse really.

Why's that then?

They serve up more oysters than any other London restaurant - often more than 1000 a day. And if that wasn't enough to persuade you, they also have the current reigning UK champion shucker Federico working behind the bar. As he prepares to represent Britain in the World Oyster Opening Championships in Galway later this month, he tells us that speed isn't everything - the oyster shucking is all about finesse and a perfectly shucked oyster too.

So we should order oysters then?

For sure. And there's plenty to choose from. We were there one day before the start of the native season, so we sat up at the bar (personally - this is our favourite place to sit here) and kicked off lunch with a selection of Carlingford, Dorset and Jersey rocks starting at £2.75 each.

After that, we worked our way through Head Chef Fiona Hannon's menu. Here's what we tried...

vietnameseVietnamese dressed oysters with ginger, soy, fish sauce and chilli - topped with fried shallots £10.50 for three, although you'll want more.

mackarelA daily special of torched mackerel with a satay sauce.

tunaAnother of chef Fiona Bannon's daily specials - seared tuna with avocado and mango.

lobsterHalf a lobster, drenched in garlic butter and served with chips. Heaven on a plate and ordered because the chap next to me was eating it and it looked amazing. £29.

What about dessert?

Every day there's a tart of the day out on the bar at Bentley's. On the Friday that we visited it happened to be a fig tart and it was pretty darned good.

tartThe 'tart of the day' - fig tart.

 Overall thoughts: 

We're as guilty as anyone in our pursuit of the new in London, but returning for lunch at Bentley's was the restaurant equivalent of slipping into a favourite outfit, discovering it not only still fits but really suits you. At 102 years old, this Piccadilly institution is still going strong.


More about Bentley's

Where is it? 11-15 Swallow St, Mayfair, London W1B 4DG

How to book: Book online

Find out more: Visit their website or follow them on Twitter @Bentleys_london


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