|One of the restaurant's two entrances.|
By: Mrs Robot
London, where the streets are paved with gold!
Or rather, London, where the streets are lined with restaurants and I never have the slightest idea which ones are going to be good and which bad. Luckily, when I went to the Big Smoke on Wednesday for the press preview of the British Library's 'Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination' exhibition (full review on Crinoline Robot) I was meeting Mi Mi Aye for lunch, and she picked the restaurant. I'd anticipated a trip to City Caphe but she suggested Wright Brothers - somewhere I'd probably never venture in on my own. I accepted.
Now, I have a love/hate relationship with seafood. I'm not a fan of massively fishy flavours. In fact, after broccoli cooked in a sauce that was roughly 50% chillies and 50% catbreath in Burma, I couldn't bear anything fishy for days, which was a bit of a sod in a country that uses fish sauce as a basic condiment. However, I do like sushi and sea fish, and figured if I was going to go to a fish restaurant, it might as well be in the company of someone who really knows their fish. Plus, if you never try anything new you'll be eating baby food for your whole life, and there'll be enough time for that when I'm 103 and toothless.
My first impressions were that the restaurant - we met at the Spitalfields branch - felt really welcoming. Probably because it had a bar, and that's always a good start where Mr Robot and I are concerned. In fact, the whole place, with its wooden floor, wide marble bar, brick floors and cool atmosphere, had a pleasingly informal, publike feel, though most pubs don't have tanks full of lobsters and crabs swimming around.
|Mi Mi's fish platter - lots of whelks and cockles as well as oysters.|
Mi Mi and I decided to eat at the bar, perched on leather-topped stools. You could have different sorts of dishes - giant seafood platters, portions of individual types of seafood, smaller plates, and things from the specials board. It's a great way of doing things as fish can be expensive, and this way if a group of people goes everyone can find something to suit their budget.
|Fried baby squid, brown shrimp and prawns.|
|Mojama - Spanish air-dried tuna. Tuna ham, if you like|
The mojama was lovely, not too soft or too chewy, and perfectly complimented by tomato, caperberries and flat-leaf parsley.
There was a really nice pudding selection, but both of us opted to have stichelton cheese and grapes instead. I am a fiend for cheese, and it was really good, with plenty of blue and a good, earthy rind.
I really enjoyed my trip to Wright Brothers. It's not the sort of place I'd have chosen, and it can be refreshing to step away from the norm and try something very different. I'd go there again, but I'd probably keep it as a lunchtime place. It'd be perfect on a hot summer day. I don't really appreciate seafood enough to luxuriate over a costly seafood platter on an evening out, though if shellfish and finnyfish are your thing, you'd probably adore it.