Sunday, 16 February 2014

Bonnie Gull - Seafood Shack in the City

Last night I managed to tick another restaurant off my "must try" London eatery list. I first came across Bonnie Gull in an Evening Standard review, it sounded pretty good so I added it to my ever growing list of places to eat. Since then its popped up in blogs & review sites all over the place with nothing but praise, so when my mum said she was going to be in London this weekend for her birthday I thought this would be the perfect opportunity!

Starting as a pop up in a Hackney Pie & Mash shop & with a couple of very successful collaborations, Bonnie Gull now has permanent residents on Foley Street in Fitzrovia, with a new seafood cafe on the horizon opening soon in Exmouth Market.

It's a gorgeous teeny tiny seaside seafood shack in the city, the BT tower looms just around the corner but you could swear you were just steps away from the shore!

The interior is simple but effective, as you'd expect a seaside shack to be, all white & blue, with wooden clad benches & bar & with rope adorning the rustic walls. But there are some unique little quirks, namely the stacked crate shelving behind the bar surrounding the raw bar & the "Winkles" & "Clams" toilet signage which really add a special touch.

Booking is a must due to the size & popularity (yes, a popular & tasty restaurant in London that you CAN book at, shocking, I know) I was informed that the bookings come in 2 hour slots but they'll be more than happy to extend this if possible. 

Now... The most important part - the food!

Some seriously good seafood, all 100% UK sourced, the menu changes according to the catches of the day, with a feature blackboard on the back wall which tells you where each type of fish featuring on the menu has been caught - nice touch! 

We ordered the Crab & the Mussels to start. The crab starter was beautiful, half a crab with toasted sour dough & a pot of their special crab mayo - pretty hefty for a starter but that's never really been an issue with me, the more food the better! The mussels with cider, creme fraiche & smoked bacon, served with a big chunk of bread were also a winner, the sauce was delish!

I'm a sucker for a Bouillabaisse, so when I spotted that on the menu I was pretty much sold & was mega happy I did, it came piled with 3 different types of fish (forgive me ... I've forgotten which, but they were all good!) clams, mussels & the best squid I've eaten, It was so meaty & delicious, miles away from the chewy/soft calamari rings that are all too popular around London, this was proper squid, tentacles & all & it was good, really good! We also ordered the Plaice a la Menuiere, Mussels & samphire which was the biggest portion of Plaice I've ever seen, & the Beer Battered Haddock, Beef Dripping Chips, & Mushy Peas ... & we may or may not have also ordered a 2nd portion of the chips to share (they were AMAZING) 

We didn't indulge in dessert unfortunately as we had a rather large birthday cake to get through, I would definitely have gone for the Chocolate Brownie with Cherry Ice Cream if we had done though! Bet it would have been amazing. There was also an impressive looking selection of cocktails that were being churned out from behind the wood clad bar. which unfortunately I didn't delve into on this occasion, another good excuse to go back though! 

The staff are amazingly nice and were only too happy to apply a million candles to my mums birthday cake & sing along to "Happy Birthday", they definitely added to the overall experience with their friendly banter. 

So if you fancy a trip to the seaside but don't quite have the time and/or energy to leave the Capital , or you just want a great seafood meal then get down to Bonnie Gull for the ultimate Seafood shack in the city!

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