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Bonnie Gull Seafood Shack - Soho (CLOSED)

  • Restaurants
  • Soho

Time Out says

A tiny seafood restaurant on a Soho side street.

Please note, Bonnie Gull Seafood Shack has now closed. Its sister site in Fitzrovia is still open. Time Out Food editors, FEBRUARY 2020. 

Right, let’s get the maritime metaphors off the deck shall we? Bonnie Gull is a super Seafood Shack (their tag) on Soho’s Bateman Street, but they’ve had a rough voyage getting here. Their first branch brought sunny seaside vibes to a box of a room in Fitzrovia in 2012 (and still does very well), but the second was a damp squib. Opening to a few salty reviews, it ebbed onto and quickly flowed off the foodie straits of Exmouth Market with nary a toot of a captain’s horn. Right, I’m done.

It’s cockle-warming, then, that this latest spot is such a success. It’s a classy little space, the emphasis on ‘little’. There’s a counter bar in the front, a locker-sized bolthole of a table area out back. That’s it. Where the Fitz branch has a tatty nautical aesthetic, this is classier: think swathes of marble, steel-legged stools and modish brass light fittings.

Everything I tried from the small-plates-heavy menu was unshowy, fastidiously fresh and ding-ding delicious. Grilled monkfish cheek and duck hearts – skewered on rosemary sprigs – were a killer pairing of sea and shore, the ’nduja butter a wildly punchy dip. A chunk of mackerel was equally fab, the bready, tomatoey pile of panzanella underneath a zingy foil to the salty flavours elsewhere; while the anchovy mayo that came with a side of tempura kale was the taste of rockpools distilled in emulsified egg and oil. That’s a compliment.

Best of all? A blinding dish of grilled Brixham brill with wild garlic velouté and sea herbs – a gorgeous combo of perfect white flesh, minerally samphire and unmistakable allium hum. An explicit note: there’s only one non-fish dish on the menu (plus a few standard sides), so if you’re not into the wet stuff, you’re better off elsewhere.

Service was almost laughably affable – we were given a round of free cocktails for slow service that we hadn’t acknowledged (or even noticed). Close your eyes and smell the sea air – this Bonnie Gull’s overwhelmingly a triumph.

Written by
Tom Howells


22 Bateman St
Tube: Tottenham Court Rd
Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £120.
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