‘He was a very valiant man who first adventured on eating of oysters’ wrote historian Thomas Fuller back in the 1600s and perhaps he was but they soon grew in popularity and whilst we might think now that oysters are something of a delicacy, back in the day (we’re talking Victorian times) native oysters were a staple of London’s food scene, being sold and eaten on the streets.
Now we have the Wright Brothers who are getting us to all eat oysters again and not be afraid of the slippery little crustaceans; following on from their three restaurants in London and their inn in Cornwall, today sees the opening of their first west London restaurant in South Kensington.
Situated on Old Brompton Road, the 28 cover restaurant will showcase the finest oysters from the Wright Brothers own Duchy of Cornwall Oyster Farm on the Hereford River as well as other regions in Britain, France and even as far as Canada. The dressed oysters will come in variety of ways including Rockefeller (if you aren’t big on oyster lingo that means they are topped with the likes of herbs, butter and breadcrumbs before being baked), New Orleans (with spices) and spinach with a Champagne sauce.
Of course oysters won’t satisfy your appetite alone, unless you ate a heck of a lot of course, so alongside, Head Chef Philip Coulter (previously Wright Brothers Oyster & Porterhouse in Borough Market) has created a menu of seasonal British dishes with French influences. Such dishes include herring roes on toast and Dover sole Meunière.
In a Wright Brother’s first there will be an independent cocktail and oyster bar, The Mermaid, which as you guessed it will serve cocktails, oysters and a bar menu. They even have an oyster happy hour between 5-6pm and 10-11pm.
Looking after the interiors is Brady Williams (Fischer’s and Wright Brothers Spitalfields and Soho) and has gone for the look of the classic Parisian seafood bistro. It’s intimate, stylish, whilst still being informal and with a neighbourhood atmosphere.
Whoever tried the oyster first, we’re glad you did.
Wright Brothers: Opens 1st September, 56 Brompton Road, SW7 3DY, www.thewrightbrothers.co.uk