Monday, 7 December 2009

Dine With Dos Hermanos - Bentley's

This post has been a while in the making. After the latest Dine With Dos Hermanos which took place well over a month ago, my poor laptop died a little death. One day it was working fine, the next - nothing. A few wails on Twitter spelled doom. Someone told me sometimes it was cheaper to buy a new laptop then to get this fixed. My heart almost stopped.

However my super-geek mate Adam managed to fix it. I fretted and worried as he removed the hard drive (with a screwdriver! Actually took the thing out!) and I asked lots of inane questions while he completely reinstalled my operating system, whatever that means. He gave up an entire Saturday afternoon to poke around my technology. It's taken me a while to find the photos - the lesson here is: Always. Back. Everything. Up.

Anyway. When Simon Majumdar first announced the event, to be held at Bentley's, the places were snapped up immediately. I was slow off the mark, having responded a whole hour after it was announced and was put on the waiting list. Talk of what the menu involved was torture; then, 3 days before the actual event, someone pulled out and I got a place. Hurrah!

On arrival, we were handed little half pints of Porterhouse oyster stout. Iced dishes of native and rock oysters were dived upon, making a great little snack while we mingled over our drinks. Having had a look around, the dining room at Bentley's was markedly different to the other two Dine With Dos Hermanos' I've attended - there were several large tables, and looked rather more formal. The table settings were beautifully autumnal and festive.

Little canapés of foie gras with apple chutney balanced rich and with a little sweetness. Trays heaving with chilli-fried prawns and mayo were passed around before we sat down. More huge platters came forth, laden with a variety of smoked fish; smoked eel was dense, meaty and gorgeous. Smoked salmon, mackerel, tuna, and even little dishes of dill-scented salmon tartare were accompanied by excellent soda bread and blinis. This could have been dinner itself.

A large, white pot complete with lid was then brought to the table. Our table of 9 looked at each other in anticipation, before I could bear it no longer and whipped the lid off. Beef cheeks glistened in a dark gravy. Mashed potato and roasted root vegetables accompanied it.

But that's not all - no, no, no. A fish pie was set before us, the golden crusty top giving off little puffs of inviting steam. I looked down at my all-but-eaten beef cheeks and winced a bit. I would have to just stuff some down. The fish within was perfectly cooked; flakes of salmon and haddock, nuggets of prawn and scallop in a rich, creamy sauce.

By this point I was fit to burst. I felt a bit sick.

A huge tray of sticky toffee pudding was laid before us, like a gauntlet. Not just that - a pot of clotted cream and a jug of toffee sauce. Oh my god.

Well, I'm glad I battled through as this was perhaps my favourite course. This is unusual for me, as I'm more the savoury sort. Rich, fudgy, sticky, lightened (ha!) by the clotted cream, I only wish I had more.

As we patted our bellies, Richard Corrigan and his head chef, Brendan came out to say hello to raptuous applause from all of us for a job brilliantly done.

Goody bags were stuffed to the brim and almost too heavy to lug home. In particular I can't get enough of the chili infused Nudo Extra Virgin Olive Oil. All in all, a great night out; well organised, a loud, convival atmosphere and fantastic food.

Bentley's Oyster Bar & Grill

11-15 Swallow Street

Tel: +44 (0)20 7734 4756

To hear about other events, join this Facebook group. Full Flickr set can be seen here.


shayma said...

Lizzie, I absolutely adore the way you write. I wasnt there, nor could I have been there (*sob*, such a gorgeous meal) but your writing style makes one want to read more and more. ace.

About Greedy Diva said...

How good was that fish pie!? And the rest... You can never be too full for that sticky toffee pud. Oh my. Glad you loved it as much as I did!

Kerri said...

Was so disappointed to miss this one, it looks great.

Glad you manage to rescue your laptop!

Gourmet Chick said...

Sounds like an amazing meal. I have never been to a dine with Dos Hermanos - a little bit scared I think but is sounds fabulous. Had to laugh at your lap top story- screwdriver plus laptop is very scary!