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|Address:||28-35 St Martin's Court, London WC2N 4AL|
|Tel:||020 7240 2565|
|Price: £53.00||Wine: £20.50||Champagne: £47.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 12N-3pm (Sun -3.30pm) 5.30pm-12M (Sun -11pm)|
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Sheekeys is epitomised in one thing on the menu: the side of “heritage potatoes”. This “heritage” thing has been cropping up (pun intended) in a few places recently and I wondered what it actually meant so I checked with the mighty Google: it means a pre 1950s variety of potato, of which there are over 200. So it doesn't really mean anything about the specific potato on offer and is just boggy marketing guff for “we want you to think we are properly old-school” and, subtext, “we are going to charge you double”. I have to admit that the potatoes (waxy, knobbly, earthy) were rather good but I'm still choking on the description. As for the rest of the food, well it was perfectly acceptable in a similarly heritage sort of way. Chargrilled squid was fine if a bit rubbery with mismatched gritty chickpeas; fish pie was richly creamy with flaky chunks of well cooked quality fish like salmon but a little overpowered by the mustard in the mash topping; the sides, including the dastardly heritage potatoes, some salt-sprinkled green beans and amazing fried courgettes were lovingly prepared and tasted like it. The highlight of the meal was the dessert (bit of a surprise): a cru viruga choccie pud with honeycomb brittle, some delicious little biscuits and brownie petit fours. All decent but not the stuff of dreams, especially if those dreams were fishy. Atmosphere-wise, it was the perfect choice for my mother-in-law's birthday: discreet, refined, dim, old-fashioned. Heritage basically. Service was patient (the lady in question was nearly an hour late) and pleasant although a bit inconsistent ranging from one smiley, friendly young waitress to a more stiff-upper-lip maitre d'. At £66 a head (inc service, 2 bottles of cheaper wine, shared sides/pud between 4) it was not as toppy as it so easily could have been. Overall, Sheekeys is rather unadventurous, imperfect, potentially a bit expensive but generally reliable and unlikely to embarrass. In new-fangled, olde worlde speak, it's “Heritage”.