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|Address:||13 Kingly Street, London W1B 5PW|
|Tel:||020 3589 2728|
|Price: £42.00||Wine: £18.50||Champagne: £55.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 12N-10.45pm (Sun -8pm)|
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Split over three floors, with a courtyard out the back, the best place to sit is in the basement out front. The best place to sit when you are in the basement is at the counter. In fact, there are two: one has a view of the (unhurried) cooking, the other (equally calm) of the man shucking oysters. Now I know we were having a late lunch on Saturday, and the place was hardly humming, but you get the impression that the chefs do not do flapping.
Oysters are the raison d'être of Wright Brothers: the specials board lists a half-dozen different varieties, including ones from the owners plot in Devon. I suppose, therefore, that it was a bit sacrilegious not to try them, but they had fish soup and I'm a sucker for a good fish soup. This one was very fishy: that may be what you'd expect, but this was a rough and ready soup, thick with fish, rather than a more refined, saffron infused one of French brasserie fair. And none the worst for it either; piping hot and replete with the necessary rouille & Gruyère to float on the thin slices of crispy French bread. A lovely amalgam of tastes and textures.
The menu doesn't split between mains and starters, but the other starter priced dish that we had was a fine whitebait and tartar sauce. Prices are interesting here: we avoided the oysters and the “build your own” plateau de fruits de mer, and we came out pretty well (less than the indicated cost above, quite easily). I can, however, see how, if you start with a half-dozen oysters and move on from there, things could get very messy on the bill front pretty quickly.
The main sized dishes came from the daily specials board: a gorgeous fish stew, with chunks of fish, mussels, squid and cockles, in a tomatoey/fish broth and a fish pie. This later was a serious hot-pot of salmon, covered with crusty, cheese-topped mashed spud. Comfort food for a cold January lunchtime at its very best. All the food was beautifully fresh, was presented in a plain, unfussy manner and came with no added frills or fripperies.
We washed the whole lot down with a reasonably priced muscadet, from a short list which, as well as the French classic fish wine, has the oh so trendy (but oh so good with fish) Spanish Albariño. There is beer and cocktails too (including that Sweetings classic, the Black Velvet, and something called an oyster shot, which may or may not be a good thing), although the locally brewed Oyster stout was alas, still brewing.
The only complaint were I to have one, which, now that you mention it, I do, was the service – when we got there they were solicitous and helpful. Throughout the meal they were cheery too, coming over to check everything was ok, topping up wine and water etc. It was only when we came to pay that the staff all melted into the background. Why does this happen? Surely this is the bit that you want – payment and your tip. And then we had to retrieve our own coats (which had helpfully been whisked away when we arrive). Early days in Soho for the brothers Wright, but service goes the whole way through the meal, from when you walk in the door to the moment that you leave; not just until the last plate has been cleared from the table.