Harden's survey result
For 25 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. This year diners have submitted over 60,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK.
“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!”
“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.
“Set in the hustle and bustle of Theatreland” – down a cute alleyway – this “star-studded”, “old-school” legend (est 1896, but dating its current celebrity to a late ’90s relaunch) is yet again London’s most talked-about destination. Nowadays owned by Richard Caring, it beat its sibling Scott’s to another crown: “the capital’s top seafood” (in particular “the world’s best fish pie”), which is “immaculately” served in a series of “old-fashioned panelled rooms” – “noisy and crowded”, but superbly “clubby” and “charismatic”.
Deep in the heart of Theatreland, this “peerless” icon (est 1896) is yet again London’s most talked-about destination; “straightforward, classical fish and seafood” (most famously, fish pie) is “slickly” served in a “cosseting”, if “squeezed”, ramble of “snug” and “classy” rooms.
J Sheekey Restaurant Diner Reviews
"This is such a classy restaurant. The menu is not overwhelming and does not change all that often but what it provides is excellent fish choices with your home comforts of fish pie on option. It is pricey of course but worth the cost. Also good to people / star watch!"
"Not as good as it used to be."
"A West End institution still serving excellent seafood"
"What can you say about the longstanding Sheekey restaurant. Still the best fish restaurant in London. A little pricey but the quality is absolutely undeniable."
28-34 St Martin’s Ct, London, WC2N 4AL
lunch noon - 3 pm, Sat & Sun 3.30 pm, dinner 5 pm - midnight
Last orders: 11.30 pm, Sun 10 pm