Londoners have been stuffing themselves so full of dirty burgers and greasy American nonsense lately that they’ve almost forgotten about the Great British Seaside. Bonnie Gull are putting that right, setting up shop in a fully themed beach shack in Fitzrovia. There’s bleached wood, a map showing the catch of the day and a treasure chest full of langoustines. What more could you want?
It’s the latest in a long line of pop-ups gone permanent. Originally Bonnie Gull was just a seafood street food offering in Hackney. Now they’ve laid down some roots in an incredibly small Fitzrovia restaurant, where there’s only room for about 26 seafood lovers within. Make sure you book or you may be bitterly disappointed as you head to the Dominos opposite.
The menu changes daily depending on what’s available, and focusses on fresh British seafood at fairly reasonable prices.
We started with Beetroot Cured Loch Duart Salmon, served with Baby Coloured Beets and Horseradish Cream (£7.50) – absolutely delicious, unusual and rich, and the Dressed Paignton Crab Tian with Slow Roast Tomatoes, Cucumber and Pickled Apple (£8) – even richer, and just as impressive.
Father went for the Beer Battered Sea Haddock with Beef Dripping Chips, Mushy Peas and Shack Ketchup (£14.50), a dull choice, I told him. But everyones love a good fish n’ chips – and this one certainly was good, he said, with some of the crunchiest chips I’ve ever laid eyes upon. There was newspaper beneath it too, a cute little touch which I loved.
I picked the Poached Line-Caught Sea Bass, served with Mussels, Braised Fennel, Spinach and Green Olives (£26). This was one of the most interesting fish dishes I’ve had, probably ever. Full of flavour, perfectly cooked (obviously) and just really very good. I’d eat it again, and again, and again.
We were on a roll so continued on to puddings, with dad choosing Bakewell Tart – obviously no good for us gluten free folk, but he told me to tell you it was AMAZING. Hmph. I picked Salted Caramel & Vanilla Ice Cream – the Salted Caramel flavour was one of the best I’ve ever had, no exaggeration. It was wonderful!
The Verdict: Could well be the best seafood restaurant in London at the moment. Definitely my favourite, anyway.
Gluten Free: Yes, loads to choose from. Go nuts!