CloverEats: Bentara in New Haven

Tofu Sumbat Blanched bean sprouts and julienne cucumber stuffed in four tofu triangles served with a very spicy shrimp paste peanut sauce or with our mild or medium peanut sauce

Tofu Sumbat
Blanched bean sprouts and julienne cucumber stuffed in four tofu triangles served with a very spicy shrimp paste peanut sauce or with our mild or medium peanut sauce

We walked by Bentara the other day and were intrigued by the lights in the window. It’s a restaurant serving Malaysian food, which is something I’m not very familiar with, so we decided to try it out. It was pretty empty on a weekday evening, so we were seated immediately. There looked to be metered parking on the street outside.

Bentara-3

Bentara-2

Bentara's Martini - Gin, banana liquor, coco rum, sweet and dry vermouth, orange, cherry

Bentara’s Martini – Gin, banana liquor, coco rum, sweet and dry vermouth, orange, cherry

The windows let in a nice amount of light, and I bet at night the twinkle lights cast a night glow. There are a lot of interesting sculptures and decorations on the wall. We started off with a Bentara’s Martini, which was strong and sweet, but nothing special. We split two appetizers, the tofu sumbat and roti murtabak. The taste is similar to a mix of Thai and Indian cuisine. Fred really liked the roti murtabak, but I thought both were mediocre.

Roti Murtabak: Unleavened ghee bread filled with a mixture of ground beef, onions, eggs and fried on a griddle. Served with curry sauce and sweet and sour onion sauce

Roti Murtabak
Unleavened ghee bread filled with a mixture of ground beef, onions, eggs and fried on a griddle. Served with curry sauce and sweet and sour onion sauce

Stir fried broad noodles

Stir fried broad noodles

As an entree, we split a stir fry with broad rice noodles and chicken and tofu. Again, even though we were starving from all the moving and unpacking, I thought the dish was quite plain. From reading reviews online, it sounds like Bentara’s used to be great, but has gone downhill in recent years. The service was a bit on the slow side as well, with what looked like only two waiters serving the whole restaurant. This was an interesting foray into Malaysian cuisine, but otherwise nothing remarkable.

Bentara-8 Bentara-9

Check them out on Yelp or at their website!
EDIT: This restaurant has just recently closed!

Click to add a blog post for Bentara on Zomato

Bentara

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