The Seafood Bar is Soho’s hottest new opening, set within a Grade II listed Georgian townhouse on the iconic Dean Street, this stylish, elegant space serves up a fantastic selection of fresh, sustainable seafood, without the high price tag.
Hailing originally from Amsterdam, this family-owned restaurant group is hoping to make their mark in London and replicate the success they have had in the Netherlands. Founded in 2012, the original Amsterdam restaurant was opened by Fons de Visscher, a fishmonger who had run his business for 27 years in his hometown of Helmond. What he doesn’t know about the catch of the day is not worth knowing. The London outpost is their fifth site and first international venture outside the Netherlands.
Whether you are new to the seafood scene or are a connoisseur, there is something for everyone at The Seafood Bar. The restaurants live by the ‘Lekkerbek’ philosophy (what might seem simple on the outside, is complicated on the inside), with unfussy dishes on the menu which allow the fish to speak for itself. All feature the freshest, seasonal produce, with shellfish taking centre stage.
Upon arrival we are greeted by the sommelier who swiftly recommends we don’t have the champagne but instead start our evening with a glass of Ferrari Trento DOC, a Blanc de Blanc that is perfectly creamy and dry. Bubbles dancing on my tongue with every sip, I’m converted. This arrives with one of the restaurant specialities, Maldon and West Mersea oysters. Both are delicious and distinct in taste. The Maldon offering a meatier taste while the West Mersea is fresh and full of cucumber tones.
Next up was the Sea bass ceviche, plump, juicy slices of fish marinated in lime and topped with chilli and coriander. Bursting with flavour this simple combination is both unbelievably fresh and tasty.
Highly recommended is La Plancha grill, a selection of crustaceans and fish that includes a half lobster, shrimp, squid, slip sole, king prawn, salmon and seabass fillet – all served with mussels in a light tomato sauce. This dish is probably best shared or skip the starter as the portion size is generous. I’d suggest you order a side of bread to mop up the tasty sauce. My guest opted for mussels cooked French style with white wine, garlic and cream. They didn’t disappoint, the bowl of delectable, meaty orange jewels pop with flavour. I’m quickly buying into the ‘Lekkerbek’ philosophy.
An array of quality wines from across the world are perfectly paired with The Seafood Bar menu, including Ruinart Champagne, Austrian Grüner Veltliner, and Provençal rosé wines.
Sustainable seafood is at the heart of The Seafood Bar. The de Visschers have huge respect for the environment and maintain close relationships with producers to ensure all seafood is sourced ethically and sustainably. Most recently, The Seafood Bar partnered with Nordic Blu to source the world’s most sustainably farmed salmon. The founding family not only looks to contribute to the preservation of healthy fish stocks by sourcing sustainably, they are also making other changes to minimise the restaurants’ environmental impact.
It’s early doors, but as the restaurant begins to fill you can see that it is going to be a Soho success. The space is a mixture of exposed brickwork and white clean surfaces peppered with quirky neon lights and signs. It feels cool but without trying too hard. The basement bar has a different vibe, perfect for a cocktail and smaller plates. There’s a schedule of events planned that will include late night oyster parties.
Reservations can be made at The Seafood Bar or call 020 7734 5656