On a nice day in St Katharine Docks, the lapping of water and tinkling of boat rigging could lull you into feeling like you’re somewhere in the Mediterranean. Add a glass of crisp Sicilian white wine and a few plates of the freshest seafood and you’re practically there.
The interiors at this small waterfront eatery are understated but welcoming, and even on a quieter night, the restaurant still retains a lively buzz thanks to the hum of the open kitchen. We started with some homemade taramasalata that came with gently cooked heritage carrots garnished with black sesame seeds, an unusual combination but one that worked.
The offerings from the raw bar were even better: meaty Cherrystone clams with a virgin Mary vinaigrette and a sublime cured turbot, fresh and zingy from a citrus and coriander marinade.
Scallops served atop a dollop of silky smooth fava with grilled chicory are a homage to the head chef’s Greek heritage, while we were left in no doubt as to why the grilled squid paired with smoked beef rump, courgette carpaccio and cep oil has fast become a favourite with regulars.
From the big plates, octopus arrived beautifully tender and smoky from the grill, garnished with monks beard and a meaty jus. An enormous fillet of wild sea bass was equally well cooked and accompanied by a chunky romesco paste and caramelised red chicory.
The beauty of The Melusine's concise menu is that it changes daily according to what the waters of the British Isles have proffered that morning. An incredibly high-tech app enables the chefs to interact directly with fishermen out at sea to place their orders before it’s even reached the shore. If you're looking for fresh, affordable seafood, cooked to perfection and served in a waterside setting, we're not sure you’ll find much better than this without hopping on a flight to the Med.