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Oysters in the City - we Test Drive Wright Bros Spitalfields

Oysters in the City - we Test Drive Wright Bros SpitalfieldsWhat can you tell us about Wright Bros Spitalfields

This is Wright Bros third London restaurant - they're also at Borough and their place in Soho has just reopened after a revamp. But the Spitalfields venture is pretty special.

Where is it?

The restaurant runs along the northern part of Spitalfields Market, with entrances on both Lamb Street and from the market itself where there's a covered terrace area. The seating area is all on the ground floor, downstairs you'll find a series of state-of-the-art filtration tanks which you can look at through a glass wall when you pop to the loo.

Where should I meet friends for a drink first?

There are loads of places to choose from - the Ten Bells is just around the corner, as is Hawksmoor Spitalfields (if you can get in - we never can). Bedales of Spitalfields always has a decent selection of wines by the glass, and there's always the Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town too.

Where's the best place to sit?

If you're a group, then there's a large banquette table here that's just right for you, but otherwise you definitely want to be up at the bar where pretty much all the seats are. The bar runs the length of one side of the dining room and halfway down the other side where it breaks to make room for the lobster and crab tanks and a few tables. So grab a stool up at the counter as here's where you'll get to see all the shellfish being prepared. It's a good place to quiz the well-versed staff on what to try.

And what should we eat?

There are three menus to choose from - the available shellfish is marked up above the counter, there are also paper menus including snacks, starters and side dishes, and then there are the main dishes of the day up on the blackboard.

While you're welcome to put together a shellfish platter yourself, putting together a selection of oysters, dressed crab, lobster etc, there are also some prix-fixe platters available so we started off with the petit fruits de mer for two (£19.50. That featured two langoustines, pots of whelks and cockles, prawns, brown shrimp and three oysters, together with shallot vinegar and some lovely thick garlic mayonnaise.

While we got to work with that we spent our time working out what else to have and decided on the crab croquettes - two large croquettes packed with dark crab meat (£7) and then went on to the main specials - sea bream baked in a salt crust and served simply with watercress and olive oil drizzled over it and a lemon sole served up with monksbeard and garlic and herb breadcrumbs.

For dessert we tried buttermilk cream with Yorkshire rhubarb which was lovely, but not quite as good as a very similar dessert we'd had at the Anchor & Hope a few weeks back. The better dish by far was the prune and armagnac souffle (£6.50) (order it about 20 mins before you'll want it) which was utterly, utterly, gorgeous.

And what about drinks?

We started the meal with a quick try of the cocktail list. Our martini was perfectly good, but the Aviation (Tanqueray gin, maraschino, Crème de Violette & lemon) - go for this if you can. The wine list features six bottles at £30 or under. We went just over that with a Picpoul by Félines Jourdan (£31) as recommended by our waiter and it was a really smooth one which went well with all the dishes we tried.

Overall thoughts.

An absolute gem of a place, this is our favourite Wright Bros establishment so far and a great addition to the Spitalfields area. As co-founder Robin Hancock explained to us, it takes inspiration from the brilliant San Francisco seafood joint, Swan Oyster Depot but adds a distinct London edge to it. One word of warning - it'll be easy to rack up a hefty bill here, but the seafood will be worth it. We'll be back to pick out a lobster or two and try the crab omelette which sounded worth a go too.

Wright Bros Spitalfields is at 8/9 Lamb Street, Old Spitalfields Market, London E1 6EA. Find out more about Wright Bros Spitalfields.


Prices were correct at time of writing. Hot Dinners ate as guests of Wright Bros.