Sunday 6 December 2020

J Sheekey, St Martin's Court, Central London


On a chilly December evening in the Covid era, the distinguished Atlantic bar of J Sheekey is a comforting place to take refuge. A bustle of bartenders mix and serve drinks frenetically while you perch on high chairs and survey the black and white prints of celebrities that adorn the walls. In the dining room the small army of staff flow backwards and forwards shepherding eye-catching plates of seafood in all directions.  Among the starters, the chargrilled squid served with roasted chorizo, padron peppers and smoked butter (£14.50) is both nourishing and flavoursome. Even more impressive and substantial is the Atlantic Bar platter of seafood, which includes oysters, prawns, mussels, clams, ceviche, cockles and whelks. At £25 per person, it is a punchy starter, but this is fresh and scintillating seafood. Among the main courses, the Sheekey’s fish stew (£26), with garlic mayonnaise, is more prosaic, but enjoyable all the same. You should find something you like on the lengthy wine list, but at a price. If you aren't too fussy, the Terres d'Azur Sauvignon Blanc is a crisp and fairly affordable option at £36 per bottle. All-in-all, J Sheekey is a refined and rewarding place to indulge a fish fetish. (8/10)