What: A significant seafood cafe in Soho’s buzzy Dean Road. Established in the mentioned Georgian townhouse that was house to Indian restaurant The Purple Fort for 35 a long time, The Seafood Bar provides a menu of no-nonsense seafood dishes with a focus on fruits de mer platters, oysters, and fish and shellfish cooked on a plancha grill.
Who: Despite its generic sounding identify, The Seafood Bar is a spouse and children-owned business. Its debut restaurant was founded by Netherlands-primarily based fishmonger Fons de Visscher and his son and daughter Pepijn and Fleur in 2012 in Amsterdam’s Oud Zuid neighbourhood. Two further dining places have considering that launched in Amsterdam, and the team has also expanded to nearby Utrecht. You may possibly believe – as we did – that the Visscher household has taken edge of depressed assets charges in central London brought about by the pandemic, but this is not the scenario. The Seafood Bar commenced looking for a central London place in 2018, signed for the Dean Street web site in 2019, and were at first thanks to get started operate on it as Covid-19 took hold in March 2020. An inauspicious start out, but at minimum the landlord has been realistic: “He’s been flexible and did not demand us hire whilst we have been unable to open up, so we bought fortunate there at minimum,” claims Pepijn.
The vibe: Spanning two floors the cafe has 190 covers in total and sporting activities the identical neutral colour palette as its older siblings in the Netherlands. With its mixture of exposed brick and white tiled walls, marble tables and columns, white furnishings and slogans on the walls, the space is quality and present-day but relatively chain-y in truly feel.
The food items: Rather significantly just about anything a single would be expecting to be equipped to buy at a Northern-European seafood restaurant can be identified on The Seafood Bar’s brasserie-design and style menu, such as crab cakes, calamari, caviar, fish and chips, and a vast range of uncooked and cooked shellfish. Plancha-cooked dishes include salmon fillet with chicory, Tenderstem broccoli and beurre blanc and king prawns with garlic and lemon. A variety of vegetarian alternatives are available on a different menu, but fully commited carnivores should seem in other places – The Seafood Bar is a meat-totally free zone. Offered the postcode and the emphasis on superior-good quality seafood, price ranges are honest with practically all starters beneath £10 and a platter of fruits de mer priced at a competitive £27.50 per man or woman. A large section of the brand’s good results in Amsterdam is down to its dedication to make seafood accessible in conditions of how it is served and – of class – a comparatively reduced price stage. The brand name has – by and huge – managed to replicate this model in the money, with its selling prices ordinarily undercutting its most clear rivals in central London.
To drink: The wine checklist is not likely to win any awards for originality but is very well-chosen, with a large variety of seafood helpful wines which include a good couple of Champagnes (the emphasis is on Ruinart). The quick cocktail record – meanwhile – has a aim on gin and tonic, with four distinctive serves out there.
And another matter: It’s truthful to say it is been a bumpy landing for the Visschers. On top rated of the pandemic, they have been shocked by the absence of employees in London (though there are some recruitment difficulties throughout the North Sea, it is absolutely nothing like as poor as right here). And simply because of the Brexit vote and the offer that was sooner or later struck with the EU, The Seafood Bar is not able to make up the shortfall with staff from its Netherlands restaurants. “It’s entirely impractical. A visa for a solitary waiter would price tag up to £10,000,” claims Pepijn. “It’s a annoying scenario for us as a single of the large attractions of opening in London was the option for our Netherlands staff to commit some time in London, which would have been a large perk for them.”