Let us take a moment to appreciate the first person who decided it was a good idea to try eating an oyster.
And then let us take a moment to appreciate the people that decided to make a whole restaurant dedicated to the stuff.
It’s hard to picture the humble beginnings of J Sheekey as an 1890s seafood market stall when you walk in the door and are swept into its wood-panelled, crisp-napkined and charmingly-waitered embrace. Always busy, but never too loud, it’s like the restaurant equivalent of a lovely warm bath.
Tucked discreetly away from the chaos of Leicester Square down a little alleyway by the Wyndham Theatre, J Sheekey’s decor is elegant and unfussy, leaving the spotlight to shine on the excellently sourced and prepared seafood. Lining the walls are headshots of famous luvvie patrons over the years (some of whom may well be in there in the flesh, too, taking advantage of the post-theatre supper menu).
The Atlantic Bar through to the left is a buzzier, more relaxed part of the restaurant, with a dining bar for necking freshly-shucked oysters and sipping seaweed martinis. Take a seat in the more formal restaurant area, however, and you’ll be treated to an old-school, top-shelf dining experience. Fresh seafood is prepared without pretension or flashy tricks – the quality of the catch speaks for itself, as in the lightly dressed crab and Atlantic prawns (ordered by the half-pint). The mains step up a level, with monkfish tikka masala; pan-fried skate wing with caper butter; shrimp and soft shell crab burger. And if you haven’t gone completely overboard with the seafood, there’s decadent raspberry and chocolate mille-feuille, and chocolate and blood orange fondant to be found on the dessert list.
And, lest we forget the pearl in the oyster – they also do some spectacular cocktails, like the Ticket To Ireland, with whiskey, Fernet Branca, Earl Grey syrup and blackberries; and the Rocksalt Kir, with gin, house-made falernum and muscadet wine.
And remember: there’s just one rule with all this delicious food.
Don’t be shellfish.
NOTE: J Sheekey is open daily, 12-3pm & 5pm-12am (Sun 12-3.30pm, 5.30-10.30pm). Booking is very much recommended and can be done online HERE.
J Sheekey | 28-35 St. Martin’s Court, WC2N 4AL
Last Updated: 17th August 2019
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