There’s no denying that London is a haven for foodies, and home to a plethora of inspired eateries and fine dining restaurants drawing on influences around the world, suffice it to say it’s one city that has all bases covered when it comes to cuisine. But one thing that can be hard to come by in the capital is excellent seafood, with fish lovers often having to do some digging to unearth the very best dining spots to suit their tastes.
Now, though, that is all changing thanks to FishWorks – a fresh fish and seafood restaurant and fishmonger that has been making a name for itself across several destinations in central London, and is fast becoming known as the very best fish restaurant in the city.
FishWorks Fishmonger and Restaurant offers seafood lovers a true taste of the ocean, serving up the freshest fish and sea fare in the capital sourced straight from Devon and Cornwall’s fish markets and day boats in Covent Garden, Marylebone and Swallow Street, near Piccadilly Circus.
With a menu punctuated by the latest daily landings and an abundance of mouth-watering fruits de mer, guests at each of FishWorks’ popular and buzzy hotspots can dine on specialities ranging from champagne and oysters at the bar and scrumptious south coast scallops, to the classic cod and chips – gourmet-style, of course.
Choose from the daily catches, including Dover sole, halibut and cod, and have your selection cooked exactly to your liking, either served whole or fileted at your table – with luxurious lobster dishes, quality crab and fruits de mer platters piled high with the day’s finest offerings all the orders of the day. The flavoursome seafood bouillabaisse is a must-try, and FishWorks will donate £1 to the Fishermen’s Mission charity each time you order it – the perfect opportunity to do some good while you dine.
To add the finishing touch to a luxurious dining experience, in-house master sommelier Tim McLaughlin-Green has created an expertly curated wine list to accompany each meal and bring out the flavours of each and every dish. Featuring a selection of hand-selected ‘maritime’ wines, produced within ten miles of the coast, these unique and interesting choices make the perfect match for fish dishes thanks to their slightly, almost imperceptibly salty taste, while for something a little more adventurous, the ‘spritz collection’ features premium spirits and award-winning premium mixers – try the Dark and Stormy Twist, a blend of Havana Club Dark Rum and No 4 Chocolate Tonic.
The Covent Garden iteration of FishWorks can be found nestled in the heart of theatreland, making it the perfect choice for a pre-show pitstop or a refuel after a busy day’s shopping. Combining the maritime charm of the English coastline with the sophistication of a Central London eatery, this show-stopping venue features a beautiful marble oyster bar as its centre-piece, attracting luxury-seeking guests from across the capital, and its private dining room – The Cove – plays host to private parties and events throughout the week.
The décor offers an upmarket twist on the classic nautical theme, with white-tiled walls and maritime accents to create a relaxing and laid-back setting in which to enjoy long and leisurely lunch or a drawn-out dinner, or a quick in-and-out experience for those with little time to spare.
Blackboards are strategically displayed around the restaurant to showcase the catches of the day, alongside prices and weights so that you can make an informed decision on what to eat – although be warned, because with such a vast selection of fresh and tasty dishes to pick from, you might just find yourself spoilt for choice.
Meaty, hand-dived, breadcrumb-topped scallops, a platter of charcoaled sea bream and bass, chilli ginger prawns and grilled halibut are all highlights you might be lucky enough to enjoy on the day. Show-stoppers include the stunning lobster thermidor and the whole Devon crab served on ice, with a selection of tasty sides like new potatoes with minted butter and tenderstem broccoli with shallots playing the perfect supporting act. And to round things off, a selection of decadent desserts awaits – from the gooey chocolate brownie and pistachio ice cream, to the rich yet creamy espresso panna cotta and warming British classic, apple and raspberry crumble.
Over at FishWorks Marylebone, a similarly satisfying experience awaits, with the original restaurant, found in the centre of Marylebone High Street, in prime position for those heading to and from its central station. Once again, blackboards showcase the daily landings, whilst the stunning fish counter lures shoppers in to pick up a fresh catch on their way home to dinner. Of course, many are tempted to stay and make themselves at home in the restaurant beyond, and leave the cooking to someone else – and rightly so. There’s nothing quite like a fresh fish dish, washed down with a crisp glass of white wine, to round the day off, and even better when you can do it over an impromptu dinner with friends.
The final FishWorks destination can be found just a stone’s throw from Piccadilly Circus on Swallow Street. When the hustle and bustle of this busy area gets too much for you, it offers a haven away from the throng, and the ideal spot for a relaxed and laid-back lunch or dinner, post-work glass of champagne, or a celebratory seafood platter (with more bubbles, of course).
If you haven’t got time to stay and dine at any of FishWorks’ trendy eateries, then a trip to the on-site fishmongers is a must. To save time, order your fresh fish online from the head fishmonger and collect from one of the restaurants on the same day, all prepared for you and ready to cook to perfection in the comfort of your own home. If you’re not sure where to start, then any of FishWorks’ fishmongers – each of whom are experienced chefs – are also on hand to provide suggestions and recipes that are certain to impress – whether you’re planning on dining alone, with family, or with guests.
When it comes to finding the fresh fish and seafood in the capital, suffice it to say that there is no competition for FishWorks, with each of its three venues offering all a seafood loving foodie could want, and more. If you’re planning a dinner out this week, then be sure to book yourself a table – and don’t forget to stock up on some fresh fare to go while you’re there.
FishWorks is a dedicated seafood restaurant and fishmonger in London with three sites; Covent Garden, Swallow Street and Marylebone.
Marylebone reservations: 0207 935 9796
Swallow Street reservations: 0207 734 5813
Covent Garden reservations: 0207 240 4999