The recently opened Oystermen Seafood Bar & Kitchen brings the best oysters, seafood and fish from across the British Isles to a pleasant (and pleasantly pared down) Covent Garden dining space.
I loved every bite of my lunch at The Oystermen and only hours after my visit found myself persuading friends with pescatarian-leaning palates to make plans with me to dine there in the very near future. I was glad to have dined at this little Henrietta Street eatery and to have had a chance to sample a broad range of items from the menu.
Slurping own hot Buffalo oysters (two for £6.50) and tempura oysters with Champagne aioli and caviar (two for £7.50) was a yummy way to commence my meal. From the Snacks section of the menu, crispy cayenne mussels (£4) and Devon crab claw beignets with lemon (£4) upped the indulgence factor.
A starter course of grilled Penzance squid with smoked paprika, almonds and green olives (£10) was my favourite course of the occasion, and one of the prettiest plates of food I’m be presented of late. Pan-fried king prawns with charred chilli, confit garlic and coriander (£11.50) tasted even better than it read. And a spoon (or two) of my dining buddy’s order of curried clam chowder with crème fraiche (£13) confirmed I’d have loved a whole bowl of it.
My stout battered coley burger with tartar sauce, pickles and Old Bay chips (£13; Old Bay chips can be purchased a side for £3) was comfort in a bap – as was a side order of smoked mackerel mac ‘n cheese (£6.50).
I forewent dessert, opting instead for a shot of aquavit as a digestive.
I thought prices were more than reasonable – especially for fresh seafood and particularly given the restaurant’s central location and its heavy foot traffic.
Service was friendly, informative and quick.
The small but natural light filled dining room with raw bar in the back was tastefully to the point: with aesthetic proclivities more likely to appear on the plate than on the walls.
Of course as this restaurant’s name suggests, if you were hankering for oysters alone (and maybe something fizzy to wash them down) you’d be wise to make this place a port of call. An ideal time to drop anchor might be from 3 to 5 pm any day of the week for The Oystermen’s Bubbles ‘n Oysters Happy Hour, when a tenner will land you six freshly shucked oysters and a glass of fine Crémant du Bourgogne for just £10.
Word is the place is fast becoming a popular option for pre-theatre nosh as well.
The Oystermen Seafood Bar & Kitchen is located at 32 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8NA. Find out more at oystermen.co.uk.