Tapas is the best cure for indecisive people, which was the category that Helen and I fell into on a weeknight. It’s hard to keep the budget down on weeknights without opting for Asian food, but ya gotta splurge sometimes! We were interested to find that Brighton had a tapas restaurant called Bensons on Martin with some decent reviews. Brighton is not the first suburb I think of when it comes to a tapas restaurant, but this was the exact reason why we decided to try these guys out.
First thing I noticed walking in was that it didn’t have the buzz of a tapas restaurant. I’m used to a packed house, people chattering, music playing, etc. This was not the case here ,as we even got to pick where to sit. I’m not complaining but it just felt unusual. This was a weeknight after all, so maybe they get busier on Fridays/weekends. We decided to sit by the window to give these guys some free advertising.
The decision was made to get an assortment of tapas and then reassess our fullness. We were off to a flyer with the mussels with white wine broth! Plump and juicy mussels, the broth had heaps of flavour and character. I could also taste the onion and herbs coming through as well, this was a delicious dish. There just wasn’t enough though as I could have done with 6 more, such a tease! The other two dishes I really enjoyed were the scallops wrapped in bacon and lamb cutlets.
Some of the other dishes we had here were a bit hit and miss. It’s interesting because I’m not referring to the whole dishes as a miss, but specific components within the dishes which did not hit the mark. For example, the caramalised onions were overwhelming the stuffed mushrooms, it felt like I was eating caramalised onions on a small plate as I couldn’t taste the mushroom at all. The crispy pulled pork was good for the first two bites before it go so sickeningly sweet that we couldn’t finish it, and the smoked salmon in the carpaccio tasted like it was from a packet at the supermarket. It’s not that I don’t like packaged smoked salmon from the supermarket, but it’s just that for the price we’re paying, we kinda expected a bit more.
The tapas didn’t fill us up fully so we decided to get a roasted duck breast risotto to finish off. The risotto itself was amazing, but once again the inconsistencies shined through as the roasted duck breast was extremely tough. If I had dentures, I’m sure this duck would have ripped it out of my mouth!
Bensons on Martin does some dishes really well but they also a healthy amount of not very enjoyable dishes. The ratio is too high to warrant a return from us unfortunately. If these certain components in the dishes could be improved, then the customers would be in for a stellar experience! We hope that they take some of the feedback on board and continue to improve, and we wish them all the best.
Bensons on Martin
Approx $45 AUD per person
Address: 146-148 Martin Street, Brighton VIC 3186
Phone: +61 3 9596 0443