Restaurant Review: London Shell Co, The Prince Regent in London
Eight intimate candlelit tables within a beautifully renovated canal boat, the recent launch of London Shell Co has reincarnated the charming Prince Regent into a culinary cruise – guiding diners on a sensory seafood journey that weaves the canals of North London. Arriving for the evening, we hop aboard near Paddington and settle in towards the stern with homemade cider cocktails as surrounding tables also start to host their fellow diners.
We flick over the charming hand written beverage list and simple yet creative set menu. Exclusively headed with the evenings date the humble listing features inventive homemade dishes that refreshingly (for once) don’t cater to or tip toe around particular tastes or individual requests; these dishes are created within the simply fitted out miniature open kitchen at the bow that is responsible for London Shell Co’s dynamic and ever changing ethos. Headlining many abandoned and underappreciated preparation and cooking methods as well as creating tasty and original small plates, served with inventive wine pairings, the menu here has a tenacious independence and a home grown ‘eat what you get’ attitude; ideal for those who prefer to get stuck in without a fuss.
As we cast off so does the menu. With our first sparkling pairing, the menu strikes straight with the seafood theme, fish and chips with a difference: two Cumbrae Oysters each, presented with a portion of delicate salty angel hair fries to share. Following an interlude we nose the properties passing us by whilst chatting over soft candle light before fresh and colourful plates displaying Dorset char tartare and fermented radish arrive; soon succeeded by the richer sandwiched flavours of two devilled Cornish crab & gruyere biscuits.
Our evening with London Shell Co journeys on with whole smoked sprats that are placed between us served with horseradish and beetroot. Heads and tails cast aside, we spread generously over chunky slices of bread and savour. The penultimate course for the evening; salmon fillets with anya potatoes, January king cabbage and caper butter is dished out from the bow up front – these are deliciously fresh and perfectly cooked. As we follow our trail back along the canal, we conclude with a sweet plate of poached rhubarb with rich set vanilla cream, sprinkled lightly with toasted almonds.
An evening of culinary canal exploration with intimate hospitality and a warm romantic flair, balancing out the seafood inspired menu, co-founder Harry Lobeck hand selects all of the wines and spirits for his diners each night. Fun with character and purpose, all wines are offered by the glass and include vibrant reds that complement the variety of fish as well as a list of exclusive bottles featuring older vintage treats.
Re-introducing traditions to the kitchen, complemented with ethically sourced, high quality ingredients, London Shell Co’s nautical delights are served with a generous portion of down to earth, honest cooking. Open from Wednesday to Friday, leaving Paddington at 7.30pm with welcome drinks available from 6.30pm, London Shell Co is a two and a half hour cruise along the beautifully scenic and often forgotten corners of London canals from Regents Canal over to Camden Lock and back again.
Address: The Prince Regent. Central, London
Reservations email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening hours: (Wednesday-Friday)
Lunch: 12pm – 2.30pm
Cruising Dinner: 7.30pm – 10pm