I’ve been craving oysters for a while now. It’s been at least two weeks and If you had a look through my Google search history, you would see that both the Wright Brothers and J Sheekey sites have been visited on an almost daily basis. So one Tuesday, the Boyfriend gave in to my desperate pleas. J Sheekey was the winner, almost exclusively because of its Covent Garden location. We opted for the Oyster Bar, rather than the actual restaurant, as this was intended to be a functional meal rather than a languorous one.
The bar is gorgeous and old worldy. With seats spread around a marble bar, with art deco lamps spotted along them, and a pile of crustacean sitting on ice in the middle. Jazz, low lighting and the murmur of conversation add to the experience. Were it not for our collection of mobile phones, and my choice of attire we could have been in a Wodehouse novel.
We started with half a dozen Claire De Fines and complimentary bread, which really hit the spot and immediately satisfied all of my cravings.
The warm dishes arrived shortly after. Shrimp and Bacon Croquettes were fabulous. Beautiful texture, although lacking bacon flavour, served with a horseradish based sauce. They were fought over by The Boyfriend and I. Grilled Tandoori prawns, were well cooked with a subtle tandori spice, the good they weren't particularly impressive. Scallops, though garlicky were missing their described heat. Dorset crab with avocado on toast was the worst of the bunch. The bread was stodgy and took away from any of the delicate texture and balance of the dish.
The wine list by the glass was impressive with over twenty whites available. Our waiter immediately poured us tap water without the awkward “Still or Sparkling?” question. The food arrived quickly and service was charming and friendly. I like waiters who like to chat without being invasive, and our man was just that.
The bill came to £74 for the food and two glasses of wine.