Sister to the legendary J.Sheekey next door, J.Sheekey Atlantic Bar is a more informal proposition, serving seasonal sharing plates of fish and shellfish, with the choice of eating around the horseshoe-shaped bar, on tables that oversee the open kitchen or those situated on the terrace.
Fronted by a cosy street-side terrace, blocked off from tourists by blue and red planters, the Atlantic Bar is to the left of the main restaurant, but also serves food: The Lobster Menu which is a real highlight was introduced to the current menu and is proving highly popular with a variety of lobster dishes from Tacos to Soufflé. The wine menu is more limited but the great thing is you can also order from the list next door.
One Saturday afternoon the Editor and I went along to try the menu before heading off into the West End, the restaurant is conveniently located in the heart of Theatreland! The restaurant proved very popular as the evening went on with people popping in for oysters and champagne after shopping or for a cocktail and fish pie before a theatre trip.
As all good luncheons should start, we were served a glass of rose champagne, Ayala – Rose Majeur NV, and then was explained the menu by our attentive hostess – Daisy. No question was a problem and her knowledge of the place was outstanding such as the design of the menu and platters by Erdem to the best sellers on the menu. She told us about one guest who had been coming for over 40 years and we were about to see why.
We started with Padron Peppers – perfectly cooked with a salty taste and the roasted Chorizo was divine, this start was full of flavour and meaty and went well the champagne. What was great was we were not rushed to make a decision and had a nice time to relax and peruse over the menu and with help from Daisy and Alex (who also served us) and we came up eventually with our choices!
We had to try the lobster menu after looking online and falling in love with the idea of Lobster Soufflé and this did not disappoint. Dijon mustard, cheese and herbs, this Soufflé was fluffy and light and perfectly seasoned. It is one of their most popular dishes on the Sunday brunch menu and we could see why. It tasted a bit like Welsh rarebit but with Lobster, in fact the bread that you have on your table we recommend putting some of the sauce on a slice!
The Tempura Lobster was another choice from the Lobster Menu served with a chilli jam that hints of pickled ginger and was presented beautifully. The batter was light and the lobster inside juicy and perfect to eat. We also had the Salmon Ceviche in tigers milk dressing and plantain chips – the spicy dressing was a comfortable spice not overpowering to take away the charm of the fresh salmon, onions, chives and plantain. The dish was very colourful and vivid to look at – made me feel like a summers dish.
The Sautéed Razor Clams and Squid in a ‘Nduja dressing and steamed samphire had a slight kick from the ‘Nduja – the sauce was a reduction of the ‘Nduja and reminded me of Spanish flavours. The razor clam was perfectly cooked, the squid a tad rubbery. The Samphire was the star of the dish and once again great presentation. Seared Octopus in Romesco sauce, heritage potatoes and Padron peppers was our final dish from the main menu, it was very tasty! Perfectly cooked – not stringy or tough. The sauce was impeccable and the potatoes soft and crispy – Mediterranean flavours with the tomato base to the sauce.
Alex helped with our wine for the above dishes and recommended Cote Rose – Lafage Cotes Catalanes 17: fresh and fruity, with intense notes of cranberry and cherry. A crisp finish and long mineral aftertaste. This wine is from the south of France and is made from a blend of Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. It’s quite rich and full for a rosé from France (which are usually light and delicate) and has flavours and aromas of ripe strawberries and pears. It worked really well with the seafood.
We ended the meal with the chocolate salted caramel mousse with milk ice cream and a cheeseboard. Paired with a Port and Sake plum dessert wine. The desserts were a good size and the cheeseboard had interesting and unusual “strawberry” grapes – the texture inside was like a strawberry!
And as one has to for The Bespoke Black Book we ended our drink selection with an Espresso Martini made by George the barman who had not been there very long but made a top notch Espresso Martini with Havana 7 Rum.
I was highly impressed with the staff who were attentive, knowledgeable and friendly, they ask immediately about allergies, assist with any questions and make the visit a real highlight. Tania the Duty Manager on our visit was also pleasant and helped us choose dessert and drinks. We informed Tania that Daisy and Alex were a real credit and made our experience at J.Sheekey Atlantic Bar one not to forget. The food as well as the staff is superb -The ingredients are fresh and high quality, served to perfection and presented beautifully and the year-round al fresco terrace is a must see. A great choice for Seafood lovers a must do in London – you could even combine it with seeing a play in Theatre Land!
J Sheekey Atlantic Bar
28-32 St Martin’s Court