J Sheekey 333

28-32 St Martin's Court , London, WC2N 4AL

10 reviews

53 Fish Covent Garden

  • J Sheekey exterior
  • J Sheekey interior CREDIT Paul Winch-Furness

SquareMeal Review of J Sheekey

Squaremeal London Hot 100 2016Although it now boasts a revamped all-weather terrace and new-look Atlantic Bar next door, “consistently fabulous” J Sheekey’s enduring appeal is based firmly on its dependable and civilised approach to hospitality. Part of the Caprice Holdings stable, the clubby, wood-panelled dining room exudes class with its crisp linens and smooth service, while the kitchen delivers reliably good seafood and "heavenly" fish dishes to match a pitch-perfect selection of whites on the wine list. Our favourites include pan-fried slip soles with zingy seaweed and caper butter, sautéed razor clams with chorizo and broad beans, and the signature fish pie topped with creamy mash – pure indulgence. Daily specials, such as devilled sardines with pickled marinade and tomato dressing or Cornish sea bass with crab tortellini and fennel, are well worth a punt. Luscious sweet treats encompass the addictive amaretto and salted caramel truffles and “make sure you try the amazing pistachio parfait”, says one reader. In short, everything is “spot-on” at this theatreland institution.

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7.0

Food & Drink: 6.7

Service: 7.9

Atmosphere: 7.9

Value: 6.3

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Ella C. 20 July 2016

I recently had a business lunch here and I was pleasantly surprised. The food and most importantly the dessert was amazing. Far too often restaurants are more interested in making the most unusual dishes and over complicating things, but everything here was spot on. Make sure you try the pistachio parfait. I will definitely dine again for both business and pleasure.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

BoatLady platinum reviewer 19 January 2014

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”.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 3.0

Monikasays platinum reviewer 23 September 2013

J Sheekey is bang in the middle of frenetic theatre-land in London (perfect pre-theatre). Escape the mania and look for ‘Mr Ben’ (man in top hat) who will open the way to old world glamour and fancy seafood. This is a local London institution and therefore attracts the posh grey tinted, well-heeled regulars, the intrepid tourists, the foodie celebrity and those with a penchant for a fancy fish supper. Sheekey's has an all consuming, buzzy vibe in smart but intimate art-deco surroundings. Lobster thermidor was huge, glorious and creamy (worth the extra £s) accompanied by fine crispy frites. Fish pie was cosy and buttery. There is an odd non-seafood dish in case you have a non-seafoody friend (I still do not understand it). There are cosy little tables in nooks and crannies of this restaurant which are usually booked well ahead, but if you need a last minute, quick (not so cheap) supper, ask for the bar and be wined, dined and entertained by the charming bartenders. I love this place, not just for the fish but for the London frisson.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Gary H. 03 September 2013

… restaurant in London in my humble opinion. This is a total class establishment but its the people that greet you, serve you and cook for you that make it special, that team is second to none I think. It doesn't matter how many times I go there I still consider it a treat. The food is simple but beautiful and focusses on the ingredients. If I were going there for the first time I would go for Razor Clams (maybe preceded buy half a dozen Dublin Bay Prawns whilst you make your final choices!) , then check out the specials on the mains as they are usually excellent but if they don't take your fancy then my friends favourite , especially for a hangover is the Smoked Haddock with Colcannon and a Poached egg – simple but what a winner! If there are two of you dine at the Restaurant Bar. Anyway , as you can guess – I love it. Enjoy

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 2.0

Continental Diner platinum reviewer 03 May 2013

The Atmosphere is the pull here, yes, as per popular myth there is indeed a bowler hat wearing gentleman to open the door and he reception is very friendly indeed. Sadly beyond this things start going down hill very quickly indeed, and the food does not live up to expectations (at all) and basic errors marr the impression. However it is a late night address in these parts but the bar is far too cramped to make it a stop off for a bite and a glass of wine. This leaves to think that it is very sad indeed as the premises are beautiful and worthy of attention to detail in kitchen. Should signs emerge that it will turn around I will give it another go!

Food & Drink: 1.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 1.0

Adrian C. 06 April 2013

Went there with my wife last night for pre-theatre dinner. What an awful experience. Firstly there are so many staff they were literally tripping over each other in the confined space. Secondly there were more ‘glorified waiters’ in suits strutting around trying to look important than you could shake a stick at. During the meal they stopped at our table no less that 4 times to ask how things were, at one point one of them stopped and started recounting the history of the place while we were trying to have an intimate meal for 2. GO AWAY !!! The waitress was also especially attentive and she did a fabulous job and was charming but that was the only good experience. I had potted shrimp followed by Smoked Haddock with Collconade and poached egg. The Haddock was practically raw. Now I like Sashimi and Sushi so raw fish isn't all bad but when it's warm and slimy … Ugh! My wife had the dressed crab and ‘supposedly’ Monkfish and Prawns Tandoori style. Firstly the crab was passable. However in the main dish we couldn't find *any( monkfish at all and she counted 5 prawns. Cost for this including an obligatory 12.5% service charge? NO wine and 1 bottle of water … £108. What an absolute scam. I don't know what's happened to London but this is the second time in a week I've paid over £50 a head and been served with poor quality food. J Sheekey has become a success based on it's own propaganda. Unless you like staff who have no clue about creating a fine dining experience and like substandard food give this place a miss. It's only volume's of unsuspecting theatre goers that keep this place ticking over. Anywhere else and it would go bust within a month.

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 2.0

Mitzie8cake platinum reviewer 22 March 2013

A friend and I are big fish fans and decided on a meal at London's famous J Sheekey for some fishy fare. Unfortunately whilst my friend got on well with her pricey yet sumptuous dish, I had several issues with mine – a fish pie – not least of all the lashings of what appeared to be dijon mustard coating and killing the fish in its entirety. I got up to about eight mouthfuls or so, before quitting and I should have sent it back if my sense had prevailed but this is J Sheekey I thought, and who am I to argue the merit of its otherwise much lauded food. So instead we continued the night, me in quiet disappointment and my friend excitedly moving onto dessert. What a shame I thought, on an otherwise perfectly good night out.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 2.0

London Gourmet platinum reviewer 28 January 2013

I used to like this place a lot more when indeed it was my favourite fish restaurant in london. however, in recent years i just feel it does live too much of its name and reputation. Yes it still serves up quality fish food but it feelsfor me somewhat unthoughtful and simply average rather than outstanding (what it used to be). However, given the location still a great pre/post theatre/cinema option

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Grumbling Gourmet platinum reviewer 25 October 2012

Going to J Sheekeys for their fruits de mer platter is for me the equivalent of walking into a spa. A brief respite of pure unadulterated luxury, a heady healthy hit that generally goes a long way towards improving my state of mind. The definition of a treat in other words. It hasn't changed here in years, an I mean that in a very good way. Nicco Polo and I settle into a luxurious banquette with a self-satisfied sigh entirely at evens with the surroundings. Acres of luxurious linen cloths, a friendly and superbly well drilled FOH team and an awesomely good selection of shellfish. Nothing else needed. Given my frothing tone so far, I should stress that while Sheekeys is luxurious, there's nothing pretentious about it. Seeing that we were struggling and wasting time with the faff of peeling the succulent little brown shrimp, our waiter gave a handy seaside tip, pinching head and tail together to pop out the sweet, fresh goodness. If I were a newbie contemplating attacking a platter, then this level of thoughtfulness would be even more appreciated. If there's something vaguely erotic about the eating of an oyster, then fruits de mer is the culinary equivalent of no holds barred, hanging from the lampshade sex with a fruity, nubile and entirely innapropriate ex. A plethora of succulent, juicy little nubbins, blushing creamy pink morsels and taut sinews, each begging to be sampled next. Like the aforementioned illicit tryst, there's a wild menu of differnt styles, types and positions, everyone has their favourites and it's all so borderline lewd that nobody wants to imagine their parents at it. After that, an ice cold buttery white wine and something to mop up the juices (see, I said you didn't want to imagine your parents at it…) we collapse back into the banquette. Perfect, absolutely perfect.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

john r. bronze reviewer 05 April 2012

Very good as usual, especially at lunch time. Perhaps the only slight issue was the number of large tables with noisy diners, Keeping these larger tables a distance from others would be a good idea.

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