I arrived at Bennett's On Belmont at about five-thirty on Friday afternoon. It was fairly quiet, with two or three tables occupied; about six diners altogether.
I recall these premises as having been the main hall of Victoria Unionist Association. In the 1990s, the premises were converted for use as a cycle retailer (Bike-It, I think); then Bennett's acquired the unit.
The entrance is in a position where there are a few steps, because Belmont Road is on a slope.
I always felt that it would be better moving the door up the road, where it is more level; however, Bennett's don't own the building. Perhaps this suggestion has already been made.
I walked up to the counter, sat up at a bar-stool, turned on the netbook and perused the black-board.
Unfortunately I was unable to obtain a wi-fi connection; Bennett's do not have their own wi-fi at present.
First impressions were of a warm diner: Informal, relaxed, friendly staff; clean and generally welcoming.
The black-board had several tempting items, including John Dory fillets with buttery mash, broad and green beans, and fried sage leaves.
It cost £12.50.
Service was prompt and it arrived within five minutes, I'd say. I liked it. The fish was mild, delicate and moist, though the fillets were small.
By this stage, more people were arriving. Bennett's is licensed, by the way.
I fancied a traditional pudding. The warm apple crumble with cream, at £4.50, sounded the business.
It arrived in a large, deep bowl. There must have been the equivalent of two apples, I imagine! A good crumble topping, with chocolate melted on top. This worked well. Delicious.
Much as I am tempted, I cannot find any major criticisms of Bennett's at all.
They serve good, well-presented, comfort grub, in a diner-style, informal atmosphere.