Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Restaurant Review: Bentara

Bentara there, done that

Allie: AB took this show out on the town this weekend to celebrate my graduation from law school (woo!).  We decided to go to Bentara, a Malaysian restaurant in downtown New Haven.  We've been there a few times and it never disappoints.  It's a little pricey, so it is better for special occasions.  But it's worth it (especially if you have Brian to pay for you--thanks boo!).  I got a fancy cocktail that had pineapple juice in it so that was good.  We got the spring rolls for an appetizer but we didn't take a photo because we wolfed them down in a millisecond.  They were awesome!  I got kuew teow goreng, which was broad rice noodles with veggies and tofu in an extra-spicy sauce.  It was amazing and the flavors were outrageous.  I also appreciated that they were very accommodating when I asked for my dish without egg.  The service was pretty good, at first the staff were very attentive and friendly, but after we got our entrees all of our servers seemed to fade into the woodwork and I practically had to hunt them down to get Brian a second beer, to get the check, and then again to get them to run the credit card.  No big deal though.  5 out of 5 slices!

Fancy drinks, no cherry jokes

Could we make a pizza with this?

Brian: As Allie said, we went to Bentara to celebrate her graduating from law school (congrats!!) This place is pretty much the perfect place for us when we want to go some place fancy (graduations, birthdays, cashing in change at the coinstar, etc.) The great thing about asian cuisines is that there is always plenty of stuff that either is vegan, or can easily be made vegan and there is stuff that caters to my liking seafood. After totally annihilating the spring rolls we got, I got the BBQ salmon with roasted tomatoes and baby bok choy I had ordered, and man was it good. I've never had anything less than stellar from Bentara, but this was especially delicious. The salmon was cooked perfectly despite not really knowing what to tell the waiter when he asked how I wanted it cooked. I guess the correct answer is "medium" since that is what the waiter eventually assumed I wanted. We overheard the waiter telling another table that Bentara is the only authentic malaysian restaurant in THE WHOLE COUNTRY since they use whole spices that are fresh ground/cracked/whatever for each dish, rather than using pre-ground spices that every other place uses. I cannot independently verify this claim, but it certainly went a long way in making me feel like a fancy person. I totally crushed the salmon and then proceeded to help myself to a bunch of Allie's dish (and then finished it when we got home) which was also really good and spicy. Clearly this is a 5/5 experience, and I would recommend it to anyone in town who wanted a slightly fancy delicious meal out.

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