The Guardian - London's Best Oyster Bars

This is possibly the most discreet venue in Covent Garden. The tranquil scene inside is the antithesis of the bustle outside. The art deco of the original J Sheekey, marble, mosaic and lacquered wood panels hung with photos of theatre luminaries carry a timeless ambience. Many come to appreciate this calm and enjoy the seafood specialities at their leisure.

The symmetrical U-shaped oyster bar has comfortable stools, the area softly lit by pearl dome lamps that make the bar glow. Here the finest West Mersea oysters, Maldons and Fines de Claire are enjoyed by many. But there are many other seafood specialities such as Dublin Bay prawns, razor clams, scallops, crab, lobster, tiger prawns and shrimps to be savoured or put together as a magnificent platter of fruits de mer.

The original J Sheekey restaurant that links with the newer oyster bar has a similar ambience of relaxed calm. The sweet scent of poached fish sings on the air as it has since first granted a licence decades ago. The menu also takes in prime fish such as Dover and lemon sole, brill and salmon, with seasonal special dishes such as Esk sea trout with lovage and girolles, roast lobster with sweetbreads and salt baked bass. Old favourites include lobster thermidor and skate with nut brown butter and capers alongside pollack, haddock, bream and cod, not to mention the legendary fish pie.

The service is calm and considered even from the younger members of staff who fit into the mode with ease. The timeless feel is certainly something unique in London. Read the full article.

  • JS Oysters