Bentley's Oyster Bar & Grill

Critics' choice
Michelle Grant
Bentley's Oyster Bar and Grill
St James's
Book a table

Book now

It’s hard to believe that nine years have passed since Richard Corrigan first overhauled this grande dame of the capital’s restaurant scene (established 1916). The interior remains as polished as ever, with art deco windows, the original marble oyster bar and wood panelling. Weeknights in the more formal first-floor Grill restaurant have a restrained business-dinner vibe, but the downstairs oyster bar is pleasingly laid-back.

Theatrics at the gleaming marble counter (part staff speedily shucking, part competitive knocking ‘em back) provide entertaining distraction as you decide between menu classics and imaginative daily specials. Our oysters (Dorset rock, Mersea natives) were exquisitely fresh, while mains of perfectly grilled langoustines, and scallops served with broad beans, crispy pork, parma ham, toasted cashew nuts and blood orange were faultless in flavour and presentation.

Despite its proximity to touristy Piccadilly, Bentley’s retains a distinctly London buzz. We sat among gregarious City boys, Notting Hill couples on third dates and Regent Street shoppers – the bar’s tightly packed tables mean eavesdropping is inevitable.

Even comically haphazard service – after the third omission our smiling waiter took to periodically appearing at our table to check if he’d forgotten anything – failed to dampen our experience.


Venue name: Bentley's Oyster Bar & Grill
Address: 11-15 Swallow Street
Opening hours: Oyster Bar Meals served noon-midnight Mon-Sat; noon-10.30pm Sun. Main courses £8.50-£50. Restaurant Lunch served noon-2.45pm Mon-Fri. Dinner served 5.30-10.45pm Mon-Sat
Transport: Tube: Piccadilly Circus
Price: Main courses £19-£38. Set dinner (5.30-6.45pm Mon-Fri) £26 2 courses, £29 3 courses. Cover £2

Average User Rating

3.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:2
2 people listening
Susan M

Sadly, this restaurant was a huge disappointment. I am giving it one star for ambiance, but as polished as the decor is, the management and owner, are the antithesis of it.

My husband and I attended a business dinner with 8 other people at Bentleys in May. The sommelier opened a bottle of red wine and spilled it all over me, not a splash, but a significant amount of wine. I tried to console her and was more than considerate, after all, accidents do happen, right? Not only did I have a new outfit on which they washed in the sink in the ladies room, along with my first time worn Prada suede pumps, but I had to then sit through dinner soaking wet. The manager, Kingsley Nhembe, gave us his word in the restaurant, so the surrounding tables could hear, that it is Bentley's policy to take take of damages their patrons incur in situations like this. He further stated that he has never known the restaurant not to take care of it's customers. I believed his word. My husband was skeptical and requested the statement in writing. Well, he was right, I shouldn't have trusted his word. (I will post the written statement if Timeout allows)

Three months have passed and not only has Richard Corrigan and his management not offered to compensate me for the damages I incurred, they will not respond to my receipts, photographs of damages post dry cleaning and a total and beyond fair bill for the replacement cost of my outfit. Until...I posted my experience on Trip Advisor! Then I got a response that was so classless and unfair, we all wondered if they even read my claim. They responded with inappropriate statements attacking me of threatening them! All this after spending 2800$, sitting through a business meeting/dinner soaking wet, being made promises, and poor service? There are many other fabulous restaurants in London that deserve good patrons.


Although the staff were friendly and the service was good. After dining in the Grill restaurant I had severe vomiting that night, followed by being confined to my bed for three days and having painful abdominal cramps and diarrhoea for four days. I sent an email and have had no reply. I saw a family with a young child and an elderly couple that night. If they went through what I suffered I fear for their health. Given the lack of reply, Richard Corrigan's restaurants do not care how sick you get as long as they have your money. Never again.

lidia fati

I spent a very pleasant Friday evening here,very tasty oysters,good cheese and very nice people around.I'm thinking to come back here Sunday late afternoon...

Sas Holmes

We visited for lunch earlier this week and enjoyed a meal on the terrace. The service was a wonderful as ever and our food was fantastic - the dressed crab was a highlight, followed by a delicious Lemon Sole. They just get it all right - such a beautiful restaurant.


Besides the incredible food, i simply adore the atmosphere of the Oyster Bar and the live pianist! Just a really fantastic addition to such delicious food - I've sampled many of their dishes and can honestly say that i've loved every one of them; my absolute favourite has to be the oysters (of course). Worth every penny.