Restaurants Upscale Dining


J.Sheeky frontage

J. Sheekey in an institution in London’s Soho/Covent Garden, a restaurant with an illustrious 125 year history and a place that’s a firm favourite of mine. I’ve fond memories of eating here with my husband but I haven’t been back since the Covid pandemic, so I was really looking forward to my visit last Saturday.

A little bit about J. Sheekey

In the heart of Covent Garden’s Theatreland, Sheekey’s as they’re affectionally known have been around since Victorian times. From a little stall in St Martin’s Court which is still their home, J. Sheekey is now a prominent venue for fish and seafood lovers at their Parisian-like bistro restaurant.

Lord Salisbury gave one Joseph Sheekey permission to sell his fish and seafood just as long as he catered for Salisbury’s post-theatre supper parties and the rest as they say is history. I wonder how many oysters have been shucked in those 125 years and they’re still shucking away. Did you know oysters are my absolute favourite, I will search out fish restaurants just to enjoy these salty morsels from the sea. From these humble beginnings began a long history of fine market-fresh fish and seafood built on a solid reputation of quality and service.

oysters at J.Sheekey

Then there’s that iconic red frontage, it’s a beacon for actors, celebrities and fine folk like us wanting to enjoy all things fish in glamorous surroundings. My favourite place is always at the bar, that’s where you see the magic unfolding as the restaurant’s talented chefs shuck oysters with swift dexterity while you await these tantalising sea gems. This time however, as the weather was sunny and still warm at 8:00pm, we decided to sit at the floral inspired terrace.

J.Sheekey Terrace

What we ate

The restaurant was buzzing with its usual fun vibe, I kind of wish we sat at the bar. But it’s always nice to try something new and all the more reason to come back! We ordered cocktails while waiting for our table. My husband had a beer, and I chose the Spritz, a combination of Italicus, an Italian Bergamot liqueur I’ve always wanted to try, and a Suze (French bitters) and apple reduction topped with Prosecco. J. Sheekey have recreated 10 iconic cocktails through their 125-year history and named them “Cocktails Through the Ages”; my Spritz is inspired by 1920’s Venice. I really enjoyed the balance of sweet and bitter and the fizz of Prosecco. Definitely not what I expected as it was served in a highball glass rather than a flute, but it was a lovely way to start the evening.

Being oyster lovers, naturally we were going to order oysters and we were recommended a mix of all three on the menu so in all, we had six; never enough but we compromised as we were going to have starters too. Remarkably, what joined the oysters were six mini flavourful sausages, I’ve never seen an oyster ‘n’ sausage combo but gives a new meaning to surf ‘n’ turf, it was rather nice too.

Oysters at J.SheekeyOysters at J.Sheekey

Oyster’s at J. Sheekey are Lindisfarne from England, Carlingford from Ireland and Jersey Rocks from England, I also had a glass of Henriot Brut champagne; oysters and bubbly is a real treat, our favourite were the Lindisfarne oysters. Sadly, not on the menu were the deep fried and wasabi oysters, they were the star of the menu and we always looked forward to these. J. Sheekey, please bring them back! you’ve not lived until you’ve tried crispy crumbed deep-fried oysters, they’re heavenly.

We ordered a wine from the Loire Valley, which is my favourite wine region, it was a 2020 Muscadet – Vieilles Vignes – Poyet.

The starters we chose was Shellfish Bisque made with Cognac and a tarragon cream and my husband had a traditional Prawn Cocktail because he saw someone else enjoying it and that’s a good enough a reason as any, I guess. Not your usual 1970’s throwback, this was a bang up-to-date version of the retro classic King Prawn and Avocado Cocktail with a Marie Rose sauce.  The prawns were huge, juicy and succulent and the sauce was creamy and unctuous, safe to say he thoroughly enjoyed it.

 Prawn cocktail

My Shellfish Bisque was seafood deliciousness, I can quite easily bathe in fish bisque, it’s my favourite soup, it was brimming with flavour, the richness of the seafood coming through in every mouthful.  Our waiters were attentive, always making sure our wine was topped up.

Seafood Bisque J.Sheekey Seafood Bisque

The mains were equally delicious, mine especially so. I chose the Miso Glazed Sea Trout with Asian Greens & dashi while my husband had the Shrimp & Soft-Shell Crab Burger with Korean spiced mayo.

J. Sheeky Losbster and Prawn burger Miso sea trout and dashi broth at J.Sheekey

Unfortunately, my husband’s seafood burger was lacklustre and failed to impress, the burger itself was slightly rubbery and the batter too thick on the crab but it was served in a wonderfully soft and sweet brioche bun.

 Prawn and lobster burger

My trout was delicious though, I especially liked the salty, umami miso broth, it was a generous sized perfectly cooked trout and far too much for me, so my husband finished the rest which made up for the disappointment of his main.  I won’t take anything away from J. Sheekey, I just think he ordered the wrong thing especially when there were other fantastic sounding mains especially J. Sheekey’s signature Fish Pie and the Monkfish & Tiger Prawn Tikka Masala. It’s all the more reason to come back isn’t it especially if those yummy crispy oysters make an appearance again. We also had Parmesan Fried Courgettes as a side, a firm favourite of ours.

J.Sheekey Miso sea trout in dashi Miso glazed sea trout in dashi

I always make room for dessert, but my husband isn’t always a lover choosing instead the cheese course if its on the menu however for me, it’s what I love most of all when eating out. I think I chose the best on the menu, because who doesn’t love chocolate. Triple Chocolate Salted Caramel Delice with milk Ice cream, I could sense a spoon fight as we both dived in at the same time, desserts at J. Sheekey don’t disappoint.

J. Sheekey Chocolate and caramel delice

It was truly extraordinary, a wonderful classic combination of flavours, the milky ice cream cut through the richness of the chocolate and caramel, it was topped with a feather light crispy tuile biscuit to add texture and sprinklings of gold leaf. It was visually impressive and delightful.

Chocolate and caramel delice with milk ice cream

It was so lovely to be back at J. Sheekey post pandemic, it hasn’t lost any of its allure.  There’s so much more to Sheekey’s now with the addition of the terrace for al-fresco dining and there’s something new which is quite exciting, JazzSundays.  You can enjoy live jazz every Sunday from 12–4pm, a heady and captivating mix of live jazz, inventive cocktails, and the best seafood. It sounds like a magical way to while away a Sunday afternoon and as a jazz enthusiast, it’s definitely something I intend on doing in the very near future.

J. Sheekey

28-32 St Martin’s Court – nearest underground, Leicester Square and Covent Garden.



Monday to Saturday 12-11pm (last seating, 10:45pm)

Sunday 12-10pm (last seating, 9:45pm)

Our visit was in collaboration with OpenTable UK, and our visit was complimentary. As always, views and photo’s are my own unless otherwise stated.

Go to for all your restaurant recommendations and bookings.


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