Scott’s is more than a restaurant, it’s a scene, a landmark, a legend. Although it’s been around for half a century, it only struck gold when it reopened under Caprice Holdings (the owners of Thy Ivy, J Sheekey et al) in 2006. Mount Street was changing from stuffy residential enclave to fashion Mecca and Scott’s was there – catnip to fish-loving foodies, fashionistas and posh people who were instantly hooked on its infectiously buzzy ambience.
The interior is beguiling by day and night. An oval oyster bar with tall stools and a magnificent ‘high altar’ for shellfish dominates the light-filled front space. There are cosy tables at the rear and confident modern art on the walls, while a flower-filled pavement terrace attracts smokers and the ever-present paparazzi.
The menu nods to meat eaters with veal cutlets, steaks, chicken pie and venison fillet with celeriac purée. But this is essentially a seafood restaurant, serving up “simply the best fish in town” – from homely potted shrimps and dressed crab to exotic octopus carpaccio and monkfish with spicy tiger prawn masala via oysters and caviar, lobster Thermidor, battered haddock and extravagant fruits de mer.
‘Fish on the bone’ might bring halibut and massive 22oz Dover soles, as well as delicate slip soles with capers and parsley butter, but the full repertoire covers everything from scallops in the shell richly doused in garlic and chilli butter to roast cod dressed with cauliflower purée and chorizo. There are also some imaginative vegetable dishes such as roast squash with quinoa and harissa.
It’s also worth saving some room for totally tempting desserts such as gooseberry pie, peach Melba or a flashy take on Bakewell pudding with almond ice cream. With its “completely reliable” food, “brilliant but unobtrusive” service and a wine list that won’t break the bank, Scott’s is quite simply “outstanding”. We’ll second that.