Harden's survey result
“Classic small plates” of “fantastic quality seafood”, “served in a 1930’s-style atmosphere” have evolved a separate, highly popular, identity for Sheekey’s “bustling” and “beautiful” adjacent bar, which fans say is “better than the restaurant!” and whose relatively “informal” approach is particularly “great for pre-/post-theatre”. Its ratings don’t hit the heights they once did, however, with the odd gripe that “while the welcome was warm, the food was nothing to write home about”.
“A sense of excitement and glamour” has long given Sheekey’s adjacent bar a distinct identity from the restaurant – hence its relaunch last year under the new ‘Atlantic’ brand. Its performance is not quite as stellar as a few years ago when it felt less discovered, but “its tasty fish tapas is lovely for sharing pre-theatre” and still “delivered with style and panache in a wonderful old-fashioned room”. “Fresh oysters and champagne on the doorstep of Covent Garden – what more could you ask for?”
“Nothing makes me happier than sitting up at this beautiful bar, and having a range of oysters and a glass of champagne!” – This “indulgent” Theatreland rendezvous “combines a relaxed tone with a fizzing vibe” and provides “a hard-to-beat selection of shellfish”. The recent rebranding and launch under a new name rightly underlines its distinctive appeal to the adjacent main restaurant.
“Slurping down quality oysters perched on a stool – is there a better way of spending an evening?” Not according to many devotees of the “brilliant”, “friendly” and “glamorous” bar attached to the adjacent “doyenne of seafood restaurants”.
J Sheekey Atlantic Bar Restaurant Diner Reviews
"Sitting at the bar here is one of the great delights of post-theatre dining in the west end. Lindisfarne oysters, brittany stew, scallops, fantastic soda bread all served with great good humour. Not cheap (£80pp) but a real treat."
J Sheekey Oyster Bar WC2
A very smart and comfortable oyster (and light meal) bar, attached to the famous Theatreland fish restaurant; standards are high, but so are prices - for a place that's pitched as an all-day stand-by, we can't help finding them just a bit OTT.
Richard Caring, as we all know, seems to have infinite amounts of money - yes, still! - and he continues to pour a part at least of his fortune into the Caprice group. Apart from the eponymous restaurant near the Ritz, that group also owns such luminary establishments as the Ivy (which recently sprung a plush club offshoot) and Scott's.
The latest embellishment to the group is a new all-day walk-in oyster bar adjacent to Londoners' favourite fish restaurant, J Sheekey. Although intimate in scale, it is glamorously decorated in a Scott's-writ-small sort of way, and very comfortable with it.
There were half a dozen types of oyster available the day we visited. We had six excellent classically-presented rock oysters, an unadorned crab bake, just one glass of one of the cheapest wines, a savoury (cheaper than a pud), and a good espresso. Our bill? - almost £40.
That's already getting pricey for a modest meal in a supposedly informal rendezvous. If we'd had a couple of glasses around the more normal - £9! - sort of level, and some pricier native oysters, our bill for not much of a meal would easily have been around the £60 mark' for one. That's too much. You can have a slap-up lunch, booze included, at Le Gavroche for not much more than that.
As a cosy all-day light eatery, hidden away in the heart of the West End, the attractions of this high-quality newcomer are obvious. It's a shame, then, to undercut all this with prices which - even making all the obvious allowances - are, at least for out taste, just a touch too rich.
28-34 St Martin’s Ct, London, WC2N 4AL
|Number of Diners:|
|Monday||12 pm-6 pm, 5 pm-12 am|
|Tuesday||12 pm-6 pm, 5 pm-12 am|
|Wednesday||12 pm-6 pm, 5 pm-12 am|
|Thursday||12 pm-6 pm, 5 pm-12 am|
|Friday||12 pm-6 pm, 5 pm-12 am|
|Saturday||12 pm-6 pm, 5 pm-12 am|
|Sunday||12 pm-6 pm, 5 pm-10:30 pm|