Bentley Restaurant and Bar


Screen shot 2015-09-06 at 1.53.09 PM

When you sit at the bar at Bentley, there’s a lot of fire, spices and herbs going around.

One cocktail, for example, sees the bartender (Phil Gandevia, easily one of the best in Australia) – put a cardamom pod in the bottom of a jigger, flame it, and then add the gin. I’d tell you the name of the cocktail he was making, but I’ve stopped taking notes at bars – and besides, the bar staff here will make you cocktails off the menu anyway. You just need to ask.

One cocktail name I can’t forget, however, is the Bentley cocktail – a classic that appeared in the 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book. It’s lucky this restaurant just so happens to have the same name as this much forgotten cocktail, as it’s fantastic.

Made with Calvados and Dubonnet, the version here adds Peychauds bitters (and possibly pastis as well), a touch of smokiness, and is served in a tiny imitation wine bottle with a wine glass to pour it in. Continue reading

My confession

i_confess_19320115Although my name never appeared on the leaked Ashley Madison files, I still have a confession to make: I have been cheating on you, dear Bar Zine reader.

Sure, I’ve been writing detailed wine reviews and covering contemporary artists such as Billy Joel for your delectation, but on the side I have been writing and editing about … well, writing and editing on my other site, Media Survival.

And it’s time to come clean.

You see, although people think I just drink, read and listen to Billy Joel all day, I actually make a living teaching writing workshops and providing editing services.

For some reason, I actually enjoy this – which is odd, since I have always detested every other form of work.

Most of my workshops are taught in-house for organisations, although I do have a writing for the web workshop in October that anyone can join (to atone for my sins, I’ll even offer Bar Zine readers a 20% discount – just go to my Eventbrite page and enter “barzine” as the promotional code).  Continue reading

Billy Joel’s Cold Spring Harbor

How did this guy date Christie Brinkley?

When I was a young, extremely straight-laced and conservative mainstream kid of 12 or so, I told my parents I liked Billy Joel – and my parents, being the extremely straight-laced, conservative cheap parents that they were, bought me a budget tape of Billy Joel’s Cold Spring Harbor for Christmas.

Oh, how I loathed that cassette. There I was, with dreams of Piano Man and Uptown Girl, left with an album made by a young pre-MTV Billy Joel with a bad moustache and long hair singing songs I’d never heard. Continue reading