RestaurantsLondonCovent GardenWC2

survey result

Summary

£88
 ££££
3
Good
3
Good
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Still a favourite over many years”, this heart-of-Theatreland veteran (est. 1896) yet again topped our poll for serving London’s best fish and seafood: “amazing seafood platters”, “the freshest fish, simply served, and a wondrous fish pie”. Tucked-away down a quirky alley, just off St Martin’s Lane, it occupies a “club-like” series of old-fashioned parlours, enhanced – from June 2021 – by a major refurb, with a new all-year-round terrace (fully enclosed, with a retractable roof), plus a new central crustacean bar. That said, its ratings were not at their usual heights this year. Was it the pandemic closure of theatres (for which it is treasured for pre- and post-show meals)? Was it teething troubles with the new set-up? Whatever the reason, it lost the slot it’s occupied for many years as London’s most-mentioned venue. It also inspired some mixed reports from both before and after its revamp. As a result, both ratings for both food and service slipped a notch (“What’s happened here?! I know we’re being generous to relatively newly re-opened restaurants, but they’ve hired a lot of people who don’t know what they’re doing, and the food was good, but nothing special, especially given the prices.”)

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
 ££££
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”.

For 31 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. In a typical year, diners submit over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK. Each year, the guide is re-written from scratch based on this survey (although for the 2021 edition, reviews are little changed from 2020 as no survey could run for that year).

Have you eaten at J Sheekey?

Restaurant details

Yes
Highchair,Portions
Yes
No dress code
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.
M C
Great seafood...
Reviewed 2 months, 7 days ago

"Great seafood"

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Michael B
Went with wife and daughter. Love this plac...
Reviewed 4 months, 15 days ago

"Went with wife and daughter. Love this place !! Service was good but might have been a little quicker when we first arrived for drinks etc when we sat down. But after that all very good - proper fish - but boy - be prepared for the bill !!! "

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Tabitha K
Gosh, so disappointing! what happened?...
Reviewed 9 months, 15 days ago

"Gosh, so disappointing! what happened?"

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Will W
Their haddock and chips not what it was....
Reviewed 10 months, 2 days ago

"Their haddock and chips not what it was."

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Jonathan G
Been going for years. Still hits all the bu...
Reviewed 11 months, 1 day ago

"Been going for years. Still hits all the buttons"

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David Z
Lovely food, especially the starters. Servi...
Reviewed 11 months, 3 days ago

"Lovely food, especially the starters. Service was "couldn't care less". Ambience - OK for business."

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Prices

Traditional European menu

Starter Main Pudding
£19.00 £38.00 £9.50
Drinks  
Wine per bottle £23.00
Filter Coffee £2.00
Extras  
Service 10.00%
28-34 St Martin’s Ct, London, WC2N 4AL
Opening hours
Monday12 pm‑11:30 pm
Tuesday12 pm‑11:30 pm
Wednesday12 pm‑11:30 pm
Thursday12 pm‑11:30 pm
Friday12 pm‑11:30 pm
Saturday12 pm‑11:30 pm
Sunday12 pm‑10:30 pm

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