Bonnie Gull: Charming British Seafood Shack near Oxford Circus
Upon hearing my dining companion’s wish for something light for dinner, I immediately thought of Bonnie Gull. The self-professed seafood shack has been getting good reviews ever since they opened in Fitzrovia. And they actually took reservations – which didn't really help me to be honest since this was a last-minute plan and they were all booked up. Luckily, if you’re flexible and near the area you can get yourself on the wait list to get a call when some of their bar seats open up.
Which is exactly what we did – parked ourselves in a nearby pub while I was on constant vigilance waiting for the phone to ring. And soon we found ourselves in Bonnie Gull on Foley Street, just a few lanes away from Oxford Circus.
While it is a fairly small restaurant, I loved the whole cheerful nautical feel of it. From the striped awning outside to the sea maps on the wall and treasure chest of oysters at the bar, you start to feel like you’re in some tiny seaside shack somewhere along the British coast. We started with some oysters and I preferred the slightly sweet Carlingfords to the Jersey Oysters from Ireland which had strong mineral aftertaste.
For the mains, I was tempted to order the Fish and Chips – Beer Battered Haddock with Beef Dripping Chips, I mean how good does that sound? But then I saw The Crab. The most gigantic of all crustaceans I have ever seen. A massive 1 kg beast – tenderly torn apart, served with mayonnaise and sourdough bread. There was so much lovely crab meat to dive in and delve into – quite a fun experience. My companion chose the Cod wrapped in Prosciutto with Asparagus and Broad beans – which he said was good but a bit unexciting.
Both of us really enjoyed dessert - a deconstructed Banana tart made of caramelized sliced bananas on a flat pastry drizzled with passion fruit and served with salted caramel ice-cream. Simple delicious flavours to end the meal.
In terms of seafood offerings, Wright Brothers in Soho has a more extensive menu and it’s probably easier to get a reservation there since Bonnie Gull is tiny. However, I like the fun casual vibe of Bonnie Gull and it is an intensely charming spot. It would be fun to sit at their tables outside on one of London's elusive warm summer days.
Bonnie Gull Seafood Shack
21A Foley Street London W1W 6DS