From the humble battered cod to the finest sashimi, London’s really upped its game in recent years when it comes to serving up specialties from the sea. Sustainably sourced sexed up seafood is in right now and we’ve found a few favourites for your fishy fix that don’t involve a crack of dawn schlep to Billingsgate Market. London's Best Seafood Restaurants - Bliss.
'London's best crab restaurant has arrived', we're confidently told and we're definitely excited. We've had the lobster love for a while so we're pleased that crabs are getting the attention they deserve too. There's soft shell crab burgers, king crab legs, whole crab for two to share and a crab platter as well as a host of other classic non-crabby dishes but we're not entirely sure why you'd want to stray away from crustaceans really. It may be suit central in the Circle but the moody wooden restaurant will have you feeling that sea breeze, just you wait.
You’ll find the original Bonnie Gull on pretty Exmouth Market because of the queues stretching out the door. A popular place and rightly so - we like the (naturally) shabby chic decor that makes us feel like we’re in Cornwall and using the brilliant hammers to crack open crab claws and get at all the juicy meat inside. A great lunch deal for £10 includes a glass of wine so you can be sure to be the envy of everyone and their Pret sandwiches.
Arguably one of London’s most famous fish restaurants, J Sheekey’s is the place to impress. From the decadent decor to the flawless food, this is a whole different level of dining and a far cry from the in-and-outs that surround it in Leicester Square. You’ll want to stay here for a while, wholed up in a corner with a lobster to share, or up in the Oyster Bar with small plates and people watching on the menu. A perfect pre- or post-theatre place too if you can drag yourself away.
Named after Michelin’s rather rotund mascot, Bibendum’s Oyster Bar is a seafood lover’s paradise found in the famous former tyre factory on Fulham Road. There’s a great selection of simple seafood done well but if you feel like pushing the boat out, order the plateau de fruits de mer to share: crab, langoustine, Atlantic prawns, oysters, brown shrimps, winkles, whelks and half lobster. Sit outside in the spring/summer sun and pick up a fresh catch from the crustacea stall outside afterwards to prolong that beachside feeling.
With daily changing menus featuring the freshest of catches, Soho’s Wright Brothers outpost is a sure bet for fish fans. There’s all the usual favourites as well as a few new takes on classics such as the sake platter, combining oysters with Japanese flavours and wine, and the surfboards - more casual takes on sharing platters that are even perfect for those who erring on the ‘fish are friends not food’ side of the fence.
One of the best named restaurants in town, Prawn on the Lawn is a firm favourite for fish lovers. An all-in-one fishmonger and restaurant, they do things a little differently here thanks to their cold-food only licence. This means they’ve been creative with their menu and everything is achingly fresh. Sustainably sourced, the menu changes daily so it’s a perfect excuse to go back often and try something different each time. Pick up something from the fish bar after and they’ll even throw in a couple of ideas on how to cook it too. Nice.
A seafood list wouldn’t be complete without sushi and we think the Heron Tower’s Sushi Samba is a great shout. A fusion of Peruvian and Japanese, the food’s a riot of fresh flavours and colours that in places pack a punch. Of course, try the classic nigiri or sashimi for the real experience but it’d be criminal not to give their samba rolls or small plates a go for a rich, decadent meal that finishes outside on the champagne terrace. No biggie.