Goddard & Gibbs has clearly landed on Shoreditch’s culinary shores with the aim of making an impression. Nowhere is this observation better emblematised than via a giant saffron-yellow sculpture in the centre of the restaurant, designed to represent head chef Thomas Moore’s childhood spent stacking pebbles at the seaside. It sounds very garish and potentially pretentious, but it isn’t. In fact, here’s to more restaurants centring their dining rooms around a huge yellow centrepiece – it's bright, kind of uplifting and a great conversation starter.
The sculpture does have a dual function though, and that’s to remind people of the sea – for this is indeed a seafood restaurant. The dining room is spacious and there are a lot of seats to fill, but at full capacity we can imagine it generates a rather infectious buzz. There’s also a sense of warmth that doesn’t simply begin and end with its strategic lighting, and a special mention should go to the relaxed, welcoming and easy-to-chat-to staff who served us throughout the evening.
We kicked off with delicacies from the raw bar. Zingy flavours alerted our palettes from the off: sea trout tartare was topped with a jumbled web of orange and dill-spiked vegetables while sea bream ceviche was hot and salty with scotch bonnet and soy. Next, crab paired with pink grapefruit and crunchy radish again showed the kitchen team’s affinity for clean, wake-me-up flavours. Our main, in contrast, was welcomingly rich. The hake kyiv provided a fishy twist on the retro classic, with a thick, crisp crust enveloping soft, flaking hake and a stream of herb butter. To finish, a puffy deep-fried doughnut with miso caramel, malt ice cream and peanut dust was deliciously generous for its £8 price tag.
On the price front, you’re probably spending around £40 per head for a three-course meal. Wine will push this figure up by at least 30 quid for its cheapest white, but it was very good (a French sauvignon blanc) as was everything else we ate.