Eating Out · review

Review: Oscar & Bentleys, Canterbury

I’m sure I’m not the only coeliac who, as soon as I hear the words ‘entirely gluten free restaurant’, transforms into a moth near a flame. I’ve been aware of fully gf eatery Oscar & Bentley’s in Canterbury for over a year now, but it’s taken me months to actually make my way there – however, after (finally) making a visit over the festive period, I can say it was truly worth the wait.
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The menu is a gluten free dream, with so much choice and variety that our poor waiter had to come back twice before I’d actually made a decision about what to have. From risotto, burgers and curry to steak and fish and chips, all bases are certainly covered – and there’s even a dairy free menu, too. I eventually ordered Fish and Chips, as this old favourite such a rarity for me to enjoy now that the opportunity to tuck into it seemed too good to pass up. Meanwhile, my boyfriend went for the Roasted Aubergine and Chickpea Swahili Curry with rice, a lentil pancake and a pineapple relish (which I had also been eyeing up, so was pleased as it meant I could nab a bit myself!).
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The plate of food that was served up to me was huge, but it all looked absolutely delicious – and a few bites soon confirmed it tasted just as good. The fish was fresh and the batter golden and crisp; even better was that it wasn’t dripping with grease, as a lot of fried fish often is. For me, the perfect chip is fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside, and these definitely ticked that box. To accompany, the minted peas had a good flavour, while the tartare sauce was zingy and wonderfully creamy. Meanwhile, there was an equally impressed response by my boyfriend to the curry; he’s very much a meat eater usually but loved the flavours and contrasting textures of the softer aubergine with the firmer chickpeas. The curry sauce tasted fantastic (and not too spicy for those with sensitive tums), and overall the portion size was again very generous.
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By the end of the meal we were both stuffed (despite my attempts I still couldn’t finish all my chips and peas), which was a shame as their desserts sound fantastic – including chocolate orange tart, crumble and sticky toffee pudding – alongside several varieties of cakes on the downstairs counter. The menu is very reasonably priced, costing just under £30 for two, including drinks and tip, and the restaurant itself is beautifully decorated with welcoming staff. Is dining at Oscar & Bentley’s worth making a day trip to this historic city for? Most definitely, but go armed with a big appetite and a bag for takeaway cake – you won’t regret it.
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Screen Shot 2017-07-14 at 11.44.56 AM
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