The murky water of the Thames might not look the most appealing, but it is in fact teeming with fish from salmon to trout and even eel – and London certainly loves its fish. With a whole hoard of brilliant seafood restaurants to choose from, not necessarily serving up fish from the Thames we hasten to add, The Handbook has a shoal of the best London has to offer:
Best for lobster: The World's End Market
Why: New seafood haunt in King’s Road, The World’s End Market, has recently opened to rave reviews, The Handbook is even testing it out for ourselves this month, and on our radar will be their Whole Lobster. Other wholes worth putting on the ‘things to eat’ list are their Whole Plaice and Whole Rainbow Trout, in fact pretty much everything on their menu catches our eye. They also have meat options like Lamb Chops and Steak, and a lone vegetarian option so everyone is happy.
Where: 459 Kings Rd, London, SW10 0LR
Best for fish and chips: Hook
Why: Fish and chips, the true quintessential British meal, problem is that often a restaurant’s offering is a little dry and sub-standard however, Hook Camden Town is now here to put a stop to that. Back in 2011 the team behind Hook were simply a market stall in Dublin but soon their first restaurant was launched in Brussells and became an instant success and now they are headed to London. Hook offers its diners a selection of more than 50 different styles of fish and chips and 30 different home-made sauces, that’s a serious amount of combinations! Whether you’re craving the food reminiscent of your days by the seaside or looking for fish and chips with an exciting edge this is the restaurant to be!
Where: Camden Town and Brixton
Best for Traditional Dining: J. Sheekey
Why: The renowned J.Sheekey’s has been producing perfect dishes with the finest of fish in style since the restaurant first opened its doors in 1894. A favourite of Kevin Spacey’s, amongst other A-list diners, the food here is elegant and refined. Discretely hidden within Covent Garden, the restaurant is ideally situated for those wanting to dine around a West End show. J.Sheekey’s offers a varied menu featuring the world-famous J.Sheekey’s Fish Pie as well as oysters and caviar amongst other delicacies. Step off the crowded streets of Covent Garden and relax in the peaceful atmosphere of J.Sheekey’s. This restaurant provides culinary excellence, a beautiful surrounding in art deco style and a history of lavish dining.
Where: 28-34 St. Martin's Court London WC2N 4AL
Best for private dining: Bentley's Oyster Bar and Grill
Why: Arguably one of London’s oldest Oyster Bars, Bentley’s Oyster Bar has been going since 1916, now under the watchful eye of Richard Corrigan, the bar still pays homage to its long history by using its original marble topped bar. With three rooms available for private dining it is perfect for a party and if you are looking to put on an intimate dinner then The Crustacea Room is brilliant. Seating up to 14 guests, the room is located on the first floor and features art from Richard Corrigan’s personal collection as well as William Morris style curtains. Diners can opt to dine from several menus but we think the six course tasting menu which is exclusively seafood is an excellent choice!
Where: 11-15 Swallow Street, London, W1B 4DG
Best for fresh fish: Prawn on the Lawn
Why: In 2013 Rick Toogood and his fiancé opened a seafood bar and fishmonger in Islington. Now Prawn on the Lawn has expanded to include a small but perfectly formed 16 seater basement restaurant. Its A1 cold-food license meaning that the freshest of fish and seafood is served up. Prawn on the Lawn sources its menu from day boats and fish markets in Devon and Cornwall, with an emphasis on seasonality and sustainability. The menu changes every day depending on the fish caught.
Where: 220 St Pauls Road, London, N1 2LL
Best for decadence: Scott's
Why: There is still something rather decadent about eating oysters, and Scott’s in Mayfair is a restaurant that knows this. The restaurant, like its strong A list clientele, effortlessly exudes glamour, its art deco private dining room is styled with contemporary artwork co-curated by Timothy Taylor Gallery and Sadie Coles HQ and the restaurant also features a marble topped seafood bar and fish scale mosaic on the floor. The seafood is equally as sumptuous with oysters, caviar, smoked fish and crustacea and molluscs gracing the menu.
Where: 20 Mount St, W1K 2HE
The best sushi: Dinings
Why: Head to Marylebone for sushi at Dinings. A contemporary Sushi and Japanese Tapas restaurant, Dinings has invented its own style of Izakaya – clever huh? The result, Japanese tapas which blends modern European and traditional Japanese cuisine. On the menu expect to find the likes of yellowtail sashimi with British caviar and toro sashimi topped with foie gras mousse.
Where: 22 Harcourt street London W1H 4HH
Others we love:
Kerbisher & Malt: www.kerbisher.co.uk
Kensington Place: www.kensingtonplace-restaurant.co.uk