Seafood stalwart Scott’s in Mayfair is rumoured to be the spot where Ian Fleming first had the idea for James Bond’s ‘shaken, not stirred’ martini, which pretty much sums up the restaurant’s inexorable influence. Style, splendour and a string of A-listers are built-in to Scott’s luxurious construction, and now it’s bringing its name to London’s leafy suburbs after over 100 years of oyster-serving fame.
The place shows exceptional promise from the off. There’s no mistaking it, sitting pretty on the banks of the river Thames with those six gleaming gold letters shining brightly above the entrance. A smartly-dressed doorman greets us on arrival, a precursor to the exceptional service that follows.
Stepping into Scott’s is like being dropped in the middle of a Great Gatsby film set. The space is much bigger than its Mayfair original, beset with crystal chandeliers, vast silver columns, green shell banquettes, colourful artworks and soaring ceilings. In the centre stands a gold island and raw bar for guests to enjoy its premium seafood counter-style, while perched on salmon pink stools. It’s undoubtedly one of the most beautiful dining rooms in London.
We plump ourselves in a waterside seat, and watch suit-clad waiters cart Scott’s famed oyster and fruits de mer platters to guests’ tables. Naturally, our starters are the fishy sort: beautifully rich baked crab, served in its shell for dramatic effect, and paired with crisp garlic toasts. Next, a perfectly-cooked piece of pearly white cod, served with velvety cauliflower puree, chorizo and crispy layered potato, had every element nailed. While dessert encapsulated Scott’s propensity for decadence and theatre – our waiter poured hot chocolate sauce with aplomb over a Paris-Brest, which was filled with pistachio ice cream and finished with gold leaf. To drink, a light but characterful white rioja chosen by our knowledgeable waiter paired perfectly with our meal.
There’s a reason Scott’s glittering heritage has endured. For all its style, Scott’s comes with a quantifiable amount of substance, which this Richmond branch has undeniably proven.