Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Review: Avido......followed by The Bentley Restaurant and Bar

438 Oxford Street

5pm til late Mon - Tues
Midday til late Wed - Sun

Don't you love it when you have one of those lazy midweek escapes from the drudgery of work?
After an exciting evening with Heston, we decided we needed a sleep in & a day of leisurely lunching.

We decided to kick things off at Avido, somewhere we have been meaning to try for a while now.
For some reason I thought Avido was located in a tiny Paddington back street, not so, it resides on Oxford Street just down from the Light Brigade (home to the wonderful La Scala on Jersey).

A glass of the NV The Duchess cuvee (Hunter Valley, NSW) and the 2009 Baby Doll sauvignon blanc (Marlborough, NZ), seems as good a place as any to start.

 Buggles is tossing up between the Ciabatta sandwich, confit pork, pickles, mustard & watercress ($16) and the House made tagliatelle with Sardinian eggplant ragu, salted ricotta, pine nuts & chilli flakes ($18), as pasta is basically non existent in our day to day diet, she opts for the pasta.
This is a decision she comes to regret ever so slightly.
The tagliatelle is cooked well, still retaining some bite; the eggplant ragu though, is heavily concentrated & all that you take from it is a very strong tomato flavour that dominates the entire dish. It is still enjoyable, but could be better.

I haven't had risotto in ages so decide to go with the Pumpkin, amaretto & goats cheese risotto, crispy sage ($19). A very good decision as it turns out.
The risotto is beautifully cooked, not remotely gluggy with wonderful flavour; the creamy goat's cheese adding a nice sharp edge. Delectable.

As for service, our waitperson Stephen is friendly, chatty & charming.
We will definitely return, next time for dinner.

Avido Restaurant & Wine Garden on Urbanspoon

It is now time to satisfy our sweet tooth & head over to The Bentley for the Dessert Degustation.

Ok, so once we arrive and spot some of our faves on the 'Appetisers to share' menu, we realise that we just have to order a few....yes that's right we have absolutely no self control.

The first to arrive is the Iggy's Bread with housemade I actually need to say more than that?

Pumpkin Custard with pumpkin seeds & Goats Curd is very good. While perhaps not up there with our old favourite the parmesan custard, it still packs a mighty punch. The'custard' is luxurious and full of pumpkin flavour, the Goat's Curd velvety and slightly acidic; the 'light as air' wafers are the perfect vessel for transferring from plate to mouth. Even the seeds are delicious!

The Kingfish Ceviche is as wonderful as always; crunchy, smooth, silken....a symphony of textures. Heaven on a plate.

The finely diced Beef Tartare is served with pearls of liquid wasabi, tiny salty capers, a smattering of croutons and cubes of a tart jelly. The beef is so tender and the other components complement it beautifully, especially the liquid wasabi which adds just a little bit of heat.

The dessert degustation begins with the Caramelised Pineapple with Barley Cream & Beer Sorbet. Perhaps better than I remembered, the sorbet having a slightly stronger beer flavour & the dehydrated pineapple a real standout. Superb.

Raspberry Parfait with Almond & wonderful. The parfait, coated in a soft black crumb, is intensely raspberry flavoured as are the dollops of raspberry puree. The almond ice cream is rich & creamy & cuts through the sharpness of the raspberry, while the peach seems to be coated in a vanilla honey.

The Frozen Cheesecake with milk cake & passionfruit ice cream is next. Oh my God, this is extraordinary. The cheesecake starts to melt in the mouth immediately, imparting that gorgeous creamy cheese flavour. The milk cake is sweet & slightly 'sticky' and the passionfruit ice cream adds just the right amount of tartness.

Finally, possibly the favourite (although really, how does one choose?), Beetroot Sponge with Chocolate Custard & Blackberry. The sponge & sorbet really do taste of beetroot, quite amazing. The dark, bitter custard is enhanced by the salty chocolate soil & the orange flavoured 'sherbet'. The hidden dollops of beetroot puree are divine.

What we love so much about The Bentley is that touch of whimsy on the plate, nothing is ever as simple as it seems. Each dish is so beautifully constructed & filled with hidden surprises. Why can't all restaurants be this good.



Dumpling Girl said...

The risotto looks so good, but now I really want to try that dessert degustation especially the raspberry parfait with almond & peach, it looks so pretty.

joey@forkingaroundsydney said...

Wowser that's a lot of food. The dessert degustation doesn't look to have changed much since we were there, and it still looks fabulous. I can't believe you had so much food! LOL

Buggles and Squeak said...

@joey...I suppose it was a lot of food, but we find it very difficult not to eat lots at The Bentley, it is all so very good.

@Dumpling Girl....the parfait is pretty spectacular, it all is really. Highly recommend the dessert degustation, you won't be disappointed.

Simon Leong said...

deconstructed desserts looks like all the rage as The Bentley :-)

Buggles and Squeak said...

@Simon... I guess the cheesecakes are often a bit on the deconstructed side... but generally I think the desserts are quite cohesive 'wholes'.