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WILTONS

Wiltons Restaurant, Jermyn Street, London, UK
Green Park

“Since 1742” Wiltons proudly displays under its name, a fact that gives it fair claim at London’s oldest restaurant. It’s a bit of a fudge however – it’s only been in its current location since 1984, first beginning as an oyster cart before setting up in several locations not too far from where it is now on Jermyn Street. Impressive history aside, the food at Wiltons is still top notch. It’s a classic menu so the only way to start is with a plate of fresh oysters and a glass of champagne. From there, we can highly recommend the salmon from Londons’ Secret Smokehouse, as well as the smoked eel. Dover Sole with garlic and parsely sauce is an excellent pick from the fish mains. There are perhaps few surpises on the menu, and it’s not cheap, but if you’re looking for the finest seafood (and beef wellington!) in London, look no further.

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OYSTERMEN

The Oystermen Seafood Bar & Kitchen, Henrietta Street, London, UK
Covent Garden

Having started small in Covent Garden, Oystermen is now thankfully a bit bigger thanks to them getting the next door premises and knocking the wall down. Here you can get oysters and pretty impeccable seafood in smart but relaxed unpretentious surroundings without emptying your wallet either. They’ve got more than oysters of course and the other must-order snacks and starters for us include the anchovy toast with confit garlic and lemon; the smoked mackerel; and the Portland crab thermidor. Mains were spot on too and we can definitely recommend the Newlyn hake with Cornish mussels, devilled mussel veloute and lovage oil, and the braised cuttlefish orzo with braised onions, aioli and red butterfly sorrel.

Oystermen is an absolutely fantastic little place and easily one of the best places to eat out around Covent Garden.

SEABIRD

40 Blackfriars Rd, South Bank, London SE1 8PB, UK
Southwark

Seabird, the 14th floor rooftop restaurant and bar at The Hoxton Southwark has an incredible outdoor terrace with epic London views plus a beautiful indoor dining room and bar – it’s a pretty special spot. Joshua Boissy and Krystof Zizka (the team behind NYC’s Maison Premiere) have created London’s largest oyster menu alongside a menu of dishes with Spanish and Portuguese influences. As well as a super selection of shellfish, the tuna belly crudo with gordal olives, tomato consommé, basil, and sherry is a winner, and the octopus roll with sobrasada aioli, creamy crab croquettes and the whole John Dory topped with a zingy salsa verde are also must-orders.

CORNERSTONE

Cornerstone by Chef Tom Brown, Prince Edward Road, London, UK
Hackney Wick

After learning his trade under Nathan Outlaw, both in Cornwall and in London, Tom Brown launched his first solo spot, Cornerstone, in 2018.

Designed for sharing, dishes are priced between £8-£14 and include raw mackerel with lime pickle, coconut yogurt and crispy garlic; marinated squid with black pudding, blood orange and a brown butter dressing; and ox tongue served with salt cod, tomatoes and gremolata. Desserts are epic too – pear crumble with earl grey ice-cream and coffee ice-cream sandwich served with a banana, pecan and rum sauce.

There are strong links with Cornwall both through the sourcing of the fish and a partnership with Cornish distillery The Wrecking Coast who have created a bespoke gin exclusively for the restaurant. You can find out much more about Cornerstone by listening to our interview with Tom Brown on our Yes Chef podcast.

ROE

Roe, Brixton Station Road, Brixton, London, UK
Brixton

It’s a bit cliche to say but Roe really is one of those places where you could eat the entire menu – and actually you can have a good crack at least half of it between two. Yes this is the kind of seafood restaurant that puts a fishy element in literally every dish bar the desserts. The bread comes with seaweed butter but you should definitely add the mackerel pate too.

Go for a good spread of smaller and main plates. The fried anchovies with hot sauce, the red gurnard carpaccio with excellent pickled shiitake mushrooms, and the skate wing with earthy jerusalem artichoke puree and wild mushrooms are all winners. Make sure you check out the whole fish special too; on our visit it was a Thai-style deep fried John Dory with a mushroom and noodle broth on the side.

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PARSONS

Parsons, Endell Street, London, UK
Covent Garden

Parsons is a super cute fish shop from the team behind the very popular wine bar Ten Cases, which is just over the road. It resembles an old chop house and note that super cute also means tiny, although there’s some clever use of space like the coat rack attached to the ceiling and the central table that doubles as a wine chiller and till. The menu of super fresh seafood includes simple grilled prawns; sea trout tartare with Bloody Mary jelly; and octopus with duck fat potatoes. All bloody brilliant

SCOTT'S

27 Hill St, Mayfair, London W1J 5LP, UK
Green Park

Scott’s was originally opened as an oyster warehouse in 1851 by a young fishmonger by the name of John Scott and rapidly evolved into the now famous seafood restaurant and oyster bar. The menu reflects its impressive heritage, serving traditional fish and shellfish dishes alongside a variety of meat and seasonal game dishes in very posh Mayfair surrounds. Oysters, served at the elegant oyster and Champagne bar, are a house speciality. The outdoor terrace is a famous hangout for celebs too so you might even spot a few stars.

PRAWN ON THE LAWN

Prawn on the Lawn, London, UK
Highbury & Islington

Fishmonger by day, seafood restarant by night, Prawn on the Lawn is one of our favourite places in London. Now moved to bigger premises just around the corner from its original location, it can now offer a bigger range of dishes due to the fact that it actually has a kitchen this time around.

You can get whole fish from the fishmonger counter, great for bigger groups, plus a whole host of fishy small plates. Highlights include lightly seared tuna served with an Asian-inspired dip of soy, mirin, spring onion and chilli, and the brightly-coloured sea trout sashimi with tomato and red onion. Hot dishes are excellent too: try the whole prawns cooked in a spicy Szechuan seasoning, and the fillet of pollock, with salsa verde and capers.

Although we loved the charm of the original Prawn on the Lawn, even with all its limitations, the new incarnation is the restaurant it was meant to be. And we’re still big fans.

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BONNIE GULL

142 Wardour St, Soho, London W1F 8LN, UK
Tottenham Court Road

With only 23 covers Bonnie Gull is a tiny Soho seafood shack with an emphasis on sharing plates that showcase fresh British seafood. With bar-style seating centered around an open kitchen you can watch the chefs at work and if you’re in the know, order special off-the-menu dishes. Highlights include the Fowley mussels cooked over embers and the Manx queen scallops with black pudding and green apple to the chargrilled monk fish cheek. The wine list matches up too with some gems to glug through.

SUTTON & SONS

218 Graham Road, London E8 1BP, United Kingdom
Hackney Central

sutton-LOTI

Because Fish & Chips is still seafood. And when it comes to chippys in the capital, Sutton & Sons is definiltey up there with the best. With its award-winning fish & chips available in Islington and Stoke Newington as well as Hackney, the menu also features Mrs Sutton’s homemade pickles and desserts alongside daily specials. There’s a tuna burger, lobster sub, grilled oysters, a whole lobster and even snails.

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