Ever heard of Richard Corrigan? He’s a regular face on UKTV food channels. An Irish native, he has gained many accolades including Michelin Stars, ‘Outstanding Chef Award’ and one of his restaurants being named Top Five in London UK in 2005. Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill in Dublin is one of his newest restaurant. Well, since 2005, so not that new really…
P & I went back to Dublin for his birthday weekend bonanza last month. We wanted to re-visit Dublin having been there about 4+ years ago. Then, we were broke-ish, tired after a long trip and didn’t have much enthusiasm left for visiting yet another city. We missed out heaps. So this time, with renewed vigour – we went super-duper touristy…and had a whale of a time!
P’s birthday was on a Sunday and it meant many restaurants were closed. It also meant that many restaurants were not packed to the brim with weekend diners. Bentley’s was a lucky first-stop for us. We walked to St. Stephen’s Green, peered into the townhouse restaurant and saw many empty tables. Yay for us! Not so yay for Corrigan.
Although Bentley’s is an ‘oyster bar and grill’ – we didn’t have either…no oysters or any grills of any sort. Who says we need to conform eh? We started out with a most delicious Baby Squid stuffed with Organic Feta and Chorizo and a Wild Mushroom risotto. The squid came bathed in a green pool of what I can only describe as tasty, green soup. Couldn’t quite figure out what was in the moss green broth, most likely a rich seafood stock enhanced with spinach? Basil? Other possible green stuff? Anyway, the squid was tender and sweet, against the backdrop of creamy feta and smoky, salty chorizo. It was superb.
The risotto was power-packed. (It had to be, considering it was basically dollop-sized…in P’s term…way too tiny a portion). There must have been the best-of-the-best selection of wild mushrooms in that thing. It was creamy and woody, and way too delish.
For mains, I had the Hake in a saffron and mussel broth. Fresh fillet of hake – melt in the mouth, with lightly crisp skin. It sat in a frothy broth of mussel stock, with a flavourful saffron finish. It was great but I was still relishing my squid and just a tad too full to totally love it. Wished I had more tummy space!
P ordered the piggiest dish there was on the menu. Roast Loin & Braised Belly of Tipperary Pork, Prunes & Cabbage. Tender roasted pork loin, belly pork, a gooey prune, a side of crunchy crackling and sweet cabbage. You kinda had to build up each forkful with a bit of everything and bam! taste and texture explosion…it was very good.
As I mentioned before, I was way toooo full then, and passed on dessert – P ordered his usual – creme caramel. This one came with a twist. Rum and raisins. Two of his all time favourites in one sweet dish. He was having a very happy birthday. Couldn’t say much about the creme caramel as I was slumped, defeated and waiting for digestion to take place. But here’s a picture for you!
Happy birthday P, with love….me!
Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill
22 St Stephens Green, Dublin, Ireland