Oh we do like to be beside the seaside. So much so that we forget about the bank holiday traffic jams, the dodgy British weather and the equally variable seaside caffs. So what’s the solution for us peckish urban beachcombers? Bring the beach shack into the city.
This is the second Bonnie Gull, following on from a branch in Fitzrovia, and before that a few pop-ups. It occupies a site that was – for a few sorry months – a potato-themed restaurant (really). Beach-shack chic works far better than the spud dud ever did, even if the nautical theme is laid on thicker than an oil spill: ship lights, whitewashed wood, lighting lower than Captain Pugwash’s cabin.
Oh! but we do also like a menu of fresh seafood. With whole dressed crab all we needed was some toast to scoop it up with; the scallops needed no more than a lick of heat. The razor clams were given more of a Mediterranean treatment, cooked with chilli, garlic and parsley.
We liked the cut of Bonnie Gull’s jib, but sometimes the theme is carried too far; the ‘Whippy’ ice cream resembled an overly sweet seaside treat, but here it costs £3, more than mere pocket shrapnel.
The menu is mostly comprised of simple cooking, yet the bill can mount faster than a rising tide. Main courses costs £15-£20; side dishes an extra £3.50-£5. But the seafood’s fresh, and everywhere from Camber Sands to Littlehampton, you have to shell out for this sort of quality. So visit on a sunny day, bag one of the 20 outside tables and count your blessings that you’re not sitting in that traffic jam on the way to the seashore.