Back To Basics

The best (and quirkiest) fish and seafood restaurant in London

Where? 21a Foley Street, London W1W 6DS (020-7436 2181)

Basic by name, basic by nature? Well, there’s no parched linen tablecloths or surly maître de. The décor, instead, is more inner city beach shack with wooden tables, rattan chairs and glass mosaic fish on the walls. There’s nothing quirky about the food though – the fresh seafood and fish is five-star all the way.

Fresh seafood in London. What, do they fish it out of the Thames? Not quite, but with the fish delivery from the coast changing daily ‘due to weather, demands and fisherman’s moods’ there’s always something new chalked up on the blackboard.

Any dishes get the full 10/10? Fillet of cod served with rocket, roasted peppers, feta cheese and sundried tomatoes (£14.25) is top of the class, as is the wild halibut with spinach, bacon, avocado and stilton butter (£15.95). Before you even glance at the specials board, however, make sure you start with some steamed mussels (£6.25) and bread – it’s home-baked and served warm with homemade anchovy, garlic and red pepper butter. Bye-bye Atkins!

We’ll drink a toast to that… If you opt for premier cru oysters rather than mussels to start, wash them down with a glass of bubbly. There’s also a good range of house wines and a further 50 pricier choices on the extensive drinks menu.

Need to know? Small (but perfectly formed), Back to Basics can get busy so it’s wise to book in advance. During the summer, there are seats outside so request an outdoor table if you want to catch some rays.

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