Londoner’s know that when the sun does eventually shine, you need to hotfoot it over to your secret slice of outside space before anyone else nabs the best tables. Which is why we’re kindly sharing with you the hidden gem that is J Sheekey Atlantic Bar.
Providing a slightly more informal ‘overflow’ area to the legendary J Sheekey next door, J Sheekey Atlantic Bar serves seasonal sharing plates of fish and shellfish, with the choice of eating around the horseshoe-shaped bar, on tables that oversee the open kitchen or those situated on the terrace which is where we were dining.
Hidden in what is essentially a side street between Leicester Square and Covent Garden, the terrace is simply perfect for al fresco dining and we can’t think of anything we’d rather eat in the sunshine than seafood! As luck would have it, there was a new lobster menu for us to check out, so we took one for the team and went to investigate.
Adding a little interest to proceedings was the #FuckBoris protest, loudly and enthusiastically making its way past, at the end of the road. Although we were very tempted to join in solidarity, there were five lobster dishes to get through. This new section of the menu has an option for starters, snacks and mains (although rather unsurprisingly, no lobster based desserts). A loveably wonky, twice-baked lobster thermidor soufflé swimming in a rich white wine and cheddar sauce was quickly devoured, not long after the breadbasket arrived. Up next was a sunshine yellow chilled sweetcorn soup, which hid a little pink lobster meat in the centre and was finished with a drizzle of olive oil. The lobster tempura is particularly insta-friendly if that’s a deciding factor for you – lobster ‘nuggets’ are presented in the shell, served with a dollop of chilli jam and a squeeze of lime – but at £22.50 they disappeared rather quickly.
Slightly more substantial was the Thai spiced lobster salad which came coated in a creamy, coconut dressing. Sprinkled with cashews, and hiding chunks of tender meat, avocado and juicy pink grapefruit segments, this was ultra-refreshing. Lobster poke tostadas completed our crustacean binge, although they proved a little tricky to eat, with most of the spicy, chilli-flecked topping falling off after the first bite. But perhaps that was just us.
All of this worked particularly well with a beautiful bottle of riesling from Alsace, perfectly balancing acidity and minerality.
Each dish from the special summer menu is priced separately, so there’s no need to commit to all five dishes as we did. A highlight for us was probably the soufflé if you were going to choose just one.
So next time the sun comes out and you find yourself in the mood for sea-food, you know where to head.