Bench, Manly (5 September 2015)

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Bench's attempt at a B&E roll displaces the Spit Road speed camera as the primary reason to never again venture across the Spit Bridge from the south side. Ever.

Caged eggs, stale bread and small serves. Clumsy kitchen has stolen a menu off a school sports BBQ then added poached pear porridge to trap south-of-the-Spit tourists.

'Best B&E offer this side of the bridge' is the righteous claim of Manly locals.  

Heavy laminated menu with stains suggest the biggest seasonality is the monthly rotation between Aldi and Coles re-thawed bread rolls; end of day half price sale of course.

Most options collapse into pantry plus fridge offers, best enjoyed in track pants.

Meanwhile, lukewarm flat white by a hipster barista is sent back. In the eyes of the North, I'm a coffee snob. I try and fail to critique this blend. 

B&E turnaround is 20 min and a runaway favourite on my table. 

Toasted top initially delights, then I realise its a disguise for stale, dry bread. Dent in side indicates a fat-fingered soccer-dad cook. Bacon situation is ruined by uncarmelised chunks of fat. Bad pig or bad cut? Who cares.

My concern the wife is in labour is put at ease. Apparently she's disenchanted with the stinginess of tomato relish. Shown by photo, yolk is off-centre in the egg white. Flavour asymmetry. 

Biggest positives are little stomach real estate wasted, sexy black plates, good furniture and better social company. 

Quick to call a dud but confident in my view: 

- Food - 2/10 - bread hits the teeth first and then comes chewy fatty bacon strips.  
- Value - 5/10 - not exorbitant, but neither is donating $15 to charity. 
- Other - 3/10 - table not cleaned, menu not given, food slow to arrive.
- Overall - 3/10 - come for the views, leave before the food. 

Bench is now relegated to the culinary bench. 3.5/5 on Zomato with 117 reviews. Hate to think what fetches a 2.0.

Will I be returning?

Click to add a blog post for Bench on Zomato

One of the locals saves my stomach 30 min later with a house-made muesli. Palate is no match for the ingredient count. Buried under the fruit is a lucky dip of fun. 8/10. Thanks Lewis.

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