Bonnie Gull Seafood Bar

Restaurants Clerkenwell
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Bonnie Gull Seafood Cafe
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Please note, Bonnie Gull Seafood Bar is now closed. Time Out Food & Drink editors, Feb 2016.

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.

 

Venue name: Bonnie Gull Seafood Bar
Contact:
Address: 55-57 Exmouth Market
London
EC1R 4QL
Opening hours: Open noon-3pm, 5.30pm-10pm Mon-Sun
Transport: Tube: Angel
Price: Meal for two with drinks and service: around £95.
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Average User Rating

4.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|3
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fedbylillie
Tastemaker

I'd heard good things about this place and have regularly ogled the menu online, hoping for an opportunity to go. So the occasion arose earlier this week when I met two former colleagues for dinner. Set on one of my favourite strips - Exmouth Market - Bonnie Gull oozes chilled out charm with a mock seaside vibe - the only mock being that you're nowhere near the beach. However, what this place lacks in coastal location it makes up for in seriously tasty food and drink. With easygoing and friendly customer service to top it all off. We came hungry, eyed up the menu and (genuinely) ordered every small plate on the menu. Of which there were ten. Plus a "snack" of mackerel pate, a couple of cocktails, oysters and a delicious bottle of Viognier. Highlights were the crab, avocado and gazpacho and the squid with watermelon and crackling (both pictured). Quite simply delicious, simple and no fuss. Oh, and I found my drink of choice - future suitors, take note - cardamom gin, grapefruit, rosemary and tonic. Not unreasonable for seafood - 3 cocktails, 9 small plates, oysters, 1 snack and the second most expensive white on the menu (+ service) came to £60 per head. Go hungry, go with a penchant for seafood, good company and a picture of Margate in your back pocket. 

Bryony P

Small and perfectly formed. This is THE ultimate seafood restaurant in London. The standard of culinary mastership is awesome. The service team - lead by a giant fisherman-type dude with a massive beard (it fits perfectly) - is outstanding. I have already booked to go back.

London Foodie Mama

Second branch of this seafood restaurant situated in Exmouth market. More spacious than the original Fitzvoria branch so great for a couple of prams. Mussels were plump and fries crisp and tasty. Our only gripe was the relatively limited lunch selection and highchairs which hadn’t been cleaned between little guests. Friendly staff accommodated our messy sprogs.