Due to the ongoing COVID-19 emergency, restaurant-going in the UK has been suspended. Visit Harden’s on Twitter and Instagram to keep up with the latest news. Please support the trade at this difficult time: use the links provided to the restaurant's own website and social media to discover any delivery, take-away or voucher schemes being run during the emergency.
Explore Harden's - The restaurant guide created by you for you
RestaurantsLondonCovent GardenWC2

survey result

Summary

£81
 ££££
4
Very Good
4
Very Good
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Unfailing, first class, and in the heart of Theatreland” – Richard Caring’s “wonderfully old-school” icon (est. 1896) has long been the survey’s No. 1 most talked-about destination as well as its top choice for fish and seafood. Tucked away, down an alley just off St Martin’s Lane, you navigate your way in past a uniformed doorman. The tantalisingly-translucent frontage only gives hints of the “classic” interior beyond with its “feeling of bygone glamour”: a series of “compact” panelled rooms , which “feature wood, brass, glass, and vintage photos of stage stars”, all presided over by “very professional” staff. The effect is “intimate” (“albeit a bit cramped”) and the atmosphere is “always buzzing” (if, occasionally, “to the wrong side of hectic”). The “traditional”, “comfort-fish” cuisine is “not inventive nor innovative”, “but always of the highest quality”. “New ingredients like harissa enliven an otherwise static menu, but if the formula works, why change it?” “The fish pie and and seafood platter remain classics”, while “Dover sole is served in umpteen different ways with on/off bone options”. Despite expansion (with the addition of the neighbouring Atlantic Bar), “it has maintained remarkable standards for years and years”.

Summary

£81
 ££££
3
Good
4
Very Good
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“A proper, old-school London tradition that never fails” – Richard Caring’s “beautiful and iconic” Theatreland classic (est. 1896) remains both the survey’s No.1 most-talked-about destination and also its top choice for fish. You approach its intriguing etched-glass façade via a Dickensian alley, off St Martin’s Lane, and once inside, navigate a succession of “charming”, “old-fashioned small rooms” presided over by “slick” and “professional” staff. There’s “a great buzz” – almost “too noisy” – and even if “tables are a little close for a private conversation”, it is “particularly enjoyable for late, relaxing dinners after a show”. When it comes to the “traditional” cuisine, “they are not trying to reinvent the wheel”“dishes are not particularly delicate, creative or ambitious, but they are generous”, “not overly mucked-about-with”, and “showcase the quality of the produce on the plate”. The wide-ranging menu of “fish and seafood galore” delivers “all you could want from the oceans!”, but it’s the down-to-earth “brilliant, warming, rich and comforting fish pie” that’s actually its best-known option. Ratings were higher here five years ago, and the venue’s ongoing “expansion has not helped standards”. That said, its level of achievement has remained incredibly impressive and, on virtually all accounts, “it’s a cherished, special place”.

Summary

£81
 ££££
3
Good
3
Good
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Well deserving its status as a West End Institution”, Richard Caring’s “very classy” Theatreland Icon (est 1896) offers “plenty of star gazing after the theatre”, and remains both the survey’s most talked-about destination, and its No. 1 tip for fish (eclipsing its stablemate Scott’s for nominations as London’s best). Sitting in a narrow, Dickensian alleyway off St Martin’s Lane, you pass its doorman and etched-glass façade to enter a series of snug (“poky”) panelled chambers, where “white-aproned waiters deliver whip-sharp service and a menu that sings of the sea: from shellfish platters and superior classics (eg lobster thermidor) to creamy, comforting fish pie”. “Nothing is experimental or over fussy”: “it’s without fripperies, foams and smears – just perfectly sourced and cooked seafood”. The ongoing drive to expand the business (including here the September 2016 rebranding of the bar into the ‘Atlantic Bar’) seemed to put some pressure on ratings this year however, with a tiny but tangible proportion of reports saying “expansion has hit standards a bit” (hence a slight dip in grades). The general verdict however? “Always magical!”

Summary

£75
 ££££
4
Very Good
4
Very Good
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“The kind of place that makes London special!” – Richard Caring’s “so-classy” institution (est 1896) is tucked away down a Dickensian alley “in the heart of Theatreland” and remains not only the survey’s most talked-about destination, but also its No. 1 for fish and seafood (narrowly trumping its stablemate Scott’s in nominations as London’s best). Beyond the doorman and intriguing, etched-glass façade, “congenial” staff are “amazingly well-drilled”, and the “warm and inviting” interior is “almost like an exclusive club, divided into small, oak-panelled areas”, and decorated with “black and white stills of famous actors”. Mind you, it’s “noisy”, and “you pack in like sardines!” Top Menu Tip – fish pie.

For 29 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. This year diners have submitted over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK.

Have you eaten at J Sheekey?

Restaurant details

Yes
Highchair, Portions
Yes
110
Yes

J Sheekey Restaurant Diner Reviews

Reviews of J Sheekey Restaurant in WC2, London by users of Hardens.com. Also see the editors review of J Sheekey restaurant.
D A
It’s as good as ever!...
Reviewed 2 months, 27 days ago

"It’s as good as ever!"

Report this comment
Robert N
Such a wonderful institution ...
Reviewed 9 months, 22 days ago

"Such a wonderful institution "

Report this comment
Martine E
The freshest of fish, the iconic panelled d...
Reviewed 10 months, 10 days ago

"The freshest of fish, the iconic panelled dining room, the welcoming staff, nothing has changed; a treat."

Report this comment
arlene m
Brilliant ...
Reviewed 10 months, 21 days ago

"Brilliant "

Report this comment
Have you eaten at J Sheekey?
Post your own review of J Sheekey and contribute to our annual restaurant review guide.
Post your own review

Prices

Availability 2 courses 3 courses coffee included service included
Lunch £25.00 £30.00

Traditional European menu

Starter Main Veggies Pudding
£13.00 £25.00 £5.75 £9.00
Drinks  
Wine per bottle £30.00
Filter Coffee £4.00
Extras  
Service 12.50%
28-34 St Martin’s Ct, London, WC2N 4AL
Opening hours
Monday12 pm‑3 pm, 5 pm‑11:30 pm
Tuesday12 pm‑3 pm, 5 pm‑11:30 pm
Wednesday12 pm‑3 pm, 5 pm‑11:30 pm
Thursday12 pm‑3 pm, 5 pm‑11:30 pm
Friday12 pm‑3 pm, 5 pm‑11:30 pm
Saturday12 pm‑3:30 pm, 5 pm‑11:30 pm
Sunday12 pm‑3:30 pm, 5 pm‑10 pm

Best Fish & seafood restaurants nearby

J Sheekey Atlantic Bar
Fish & seafood restaurant in Covent Garden
£74
  £££
3
Good
3
Good
4
Very Good
The Oystermen Seafood Kitchen & Bar
Fish & seafood restaurant in Covent Garden
£63
  £££
4
Very Good
3
Good
3
Good
Burger & Lobster
Burgers, etc restaurant in Soho
£60
  £££
3
Good
2
Average
3
Good

Best similarly priced restaurants nearby

Lima Floral
Peruvian restaurant in Covent Garden
£78
 ££££
3
Good
3
Good
2
Average
Clos Maggiore
French restaurant in Covent Garden
£83
 ££££
3
Good
4
Very Good
5
Exceptional
The Ivy
British, Modern restaurant in Covent Garden
£83
 ££££
2
Average
2
Average
3
Good