I’ll be really honest and upfront here. I’m a bit of a seafood snob. I grew up spending every summer of my life on the coast of Maine and my meals literally came straight from the sea we swam in. It doesn’t get much more fresh. Now before you go thinking I’m richie rich, at the time Lobster was as cheap as a cheeseburger. The price has now gone up with the popularity of the crustacean and it’s all the rage to be able to say you can afford to order lobster at dinner. I’ll go ahead and say upfront that I’ll only eat lobster in one place – on my back porch in Maine. The reason I mention all of this is because, I rarely, if ever, go into a seafood restaurant in London. It’s just not one of those things that’s ever been high on my list of must visits and if ever anyone asked me where to eat, I never used to point them in the direction of seafood. However, I caved and went in for a seafood experience in London last month, and I need to admit that it was the interiors that got me in the front door and it was the food that had me locked in to stay. This is Neptune, a new restaurant in the heart of Bloomsbury, that’s next level gorgeous. Rich reds, plush pastel pinks, pewter countertopped oyster bars and a peach ceiling all lend themselves to a setup you’ve never seen before in London town. Like I’ve said, however, interiors are only half the appeal.
While at lunch, I got to try a healthy portion of the menu, starting with the seafood platter. First of all, don’t panic. I feel like whenever anyone mentions a seafood platter at a restaurant, the entire population believes they’ll have to sell their first born daughter in order to afford a slice of the action. At Neptune, a seafood platter that’s bigger than you’ll ever be able to finish between the two of you, is a healthy £38. Just to put this all into perspective, the last seafood platter I had in the USA, on the west coast, that was roughly the same size, came with a price tag of $125. Yup. I’m still regretting that bill.
Of course the meal could start and stop with the seafood platter alone, but what fun would that be, especially when the menu is full of culinary delights featuring fish directly from the shores of Cornwall. Favourites on the day included Agnolotti of red prawns, the wild sea trout and the scallops. So when would you eat here? Well, I’d say it’s so relaxed you could easily go in on your own with a book by your side. But, I think it’d be more fun on either an intimate date night or a rip roaring good night with friends who enjoy oysters, champagne and a kick ass seafood platter. Don’t we all have those friends? Either way, make the reservation!
Corner of Guildford Street and Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London
Reservations: 020 7520 1806