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#95 J Sheekey

November 10, 2011

Not sure having Cheech Marin as doorman is a good idea, Mr Sheekey. "Fishy, fishy, fishy! We got all kinds of fishy. Old fishy, dry fishy, wet fishy..."

If you’re a Londoner, even if you’ve never sought out J Sheekey, you’ve probably passed it. It’s the old-fashioned-looking restaurant in the passage between Charing Cross Road and St Martin’s Lane, hemmed in by the Wyndham’s and Noel Coward theatres. There’s always a doorman waiting outside the doorway; although there’s a menu posted outside, something about the mirrored windows bespeaks an anonymous exclusivity.

Make no mistake: J Sheekey is old-school. There’s no high-concept re-fashioning of the design ethic here. Everything retains its understated deco charm, and the restaurant is as hushed and reverent inside as its exterior is bustling. It’s like being in Fish Church. For seafood is what J Sheekey does – and as you can guess, it prides itself on the quality of its fish, and the relatively simple preparation. There’s a reason it’s regularly mentioned as one of the capital’s – and the country’s – best seafood restaurants. And if you want something a little more contemporary, try the new oyster bar; but don’t expect anything but calm and measured mollusc-consumption. This is J Sheekey, after all, not some fly-by-night new eatery that’s only been around fifty years or so…

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