Wright Brothers: Bringing Fresh Fish to London

I tend to like all types of food but fish has to be one of my favourites, that’s why on Friday night when my boyfriend asked where I fancy visiting for dinner, the Wright Brothers Oyster House came straight to mind.

Located in London Bridge, Soho, Spitalfields and Cornwall, Wright Brothers is rapidly expanding and although each venue delivers the same concept and style of food, they all have their own individual charm. My favourite is probably London Bridge; this tiny Oyster and Porter House is nestled in the heart of Borough food market and with an open kitchen, communal tables, barrels, counter seating and authentic brickwork, this quaint dining room welcomes you right from the start. The Soho restaurant still delivers a similar style of dining with open kitchens and counter seating, however it is a much larger venue split over two floors with the upstairs having a more traditional restaurant experience.

Last Friday, we fancied a buzzy evening so decided to head to Soho. We had requested to sit downstairs at the kitchen counter bar as we love to watch the chefs at work, preparing the shellfish and serving up a range of delicious dishes. We were presented with the menu, which is always simple with a shellfish and oyster section, four to five starter dishes and a small number of meat and fish options. There are also daily specials which offer pastas, risottos or the catch of the day. Most diners choose the shellfish which can be ordered individually or on mixed platters, both of which are equally impressive.

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On this occasion we ordered from the main dishes with my boyfriend choosing Devilled Squid (£9) followed by Cod, Pancetta and Samphire with a Gem salad (£22.50) and myself opting to skip the starter and pick a main course sized mussels with fresh bread (£15.50). The wine list offers a great selections of wines with the option to order wine by the glass, carafe or bottle. We chose a carafe of Sauvignon Blanc, which was so good we ordered a second half way through our meal.

The Devilled Squid starter was basically calamari, with a light and crispy batter and accompanied with tasty harissa mayonnaise. Our only criticism was that it was slightly too salty but my boyfriend still wiped the plate clean so it was not a problem. The cod was the best meal of the evening, giving me slight food envy when it arrived. It was fresh, meaty and presented beautifully, complimented with fresh samphire and crispy pancetta pieces. This with the fresh baby gem lettuce salad delivered the best fish dish I have tasted in a while. My mussels were also delicious, served in a large tin and with a flavoursome white wine and shallot butter – perfect for dunking bread into when all the mussels had been eaten. We opted against a dessert on this occasion as the menu was a little uninspiring but in the past we have enjoyed many of their scrummy fruit crumbles.

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When our plates were cleared the waitress told us a brief story of the Wright Brothers; Initially the brothers set out in 2002 as wholesalers supplying London’s top restaurants with fresh French oysters and after a number of years decided to open their own restaurant. Today they have four restaurants and their wholesale business, however now deliver both French and British oysters and shellfish throughout the UK. The waitress also told us that the Soho restaurant was going to be closed over the next few weeks for refurbishment as they are working to formalised their restaurants slightly, delivering the same fresh fish concept but creating more of a high-quality dining environment. Personally I don’t think they need to change things as all of their restaurants are pretty great but they obviously know what they’re doing.

The Wright Brothers restaurants aren’t cheap but when you receive such high quality produce and some of the best sea food in the UK it really does seem worth it. Overall our bill came to around £100, but with great service, atmosphere, food, drink and plenty to observe, we walked away feeling like it was definitely money well spent. We look forward to visiting again soon and checking out the changes they have it store!

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