The British Isles are surrounded by some of the finest fish filled waters in the world and I am passionate about the small independents that are finally bringing British seafood to British tables for everyday eating. So when I was invited to review a new Soho eatery, promoting itself as a seafood shack and boasting fresh ingredients from British day boats I couldn’t wait.
Bonnie Gull Soho is the second venue for Alex Hunter and Danny Clancy after the success of their popular Fitzrovia restaurant. Declaring this as a “seaside restaurant in the city” is a bold claim, but one that they have impressively delivered on. I am always optimistic when there is a display of produce on ice, at the front of a fish restaurant and even more so when the chefs are actually using it!! When somewhere that describes itself as a “shack” has a menu that includes three types of rock oyster, you know you are in for a treat.
Bonnie Gull Seafood Shack is dominated by a long marble bar, where customers are encouraged to sit, eat and interact with the chefs while their dishes are being prepared. At the back is a small, almost cave like area with tables for more intimate dining. There is definitely a seaside feel to the place and the buzz that one would expect from this part of town.
The menu is split into small and large plates with the emphasis on the ingredients. Cornish sardine with confit lemon; Selsey crab meat with green and yellow courgette ribbons; and hand dived razor clams. I believe that simplicity is the key with all good seafood and paring flavours is an art. I was particularly impressed with how the porcini cream perfectly complemented my plate of Manx queen scallops. The Scottish langoustine couldn’t have been fresher. Simply grilled and finished with herb infused butter, carefully insuring that the garlic did not detract from the sweetness of the meat.
This is good casual dining in the west end, they even offer a pre theatre menu and with warm, friendly staff and a super wine list, Bonnie Gull is a great place to sample some seriously good British seafood.
Go To: bonniegull.com
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