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The Oystermen

Restaurants, Seafood Covent Garden
3 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(5user reviews)
 (Greg Funnell)
Greg Funnell

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

A white-walled, wide-windowed restaurant on Covent Garden’s charming Henrietta Street, this feels like the kind of seafood place you might find washed up on a beach in Cornwall. A smart beach, mind: Oystermen is definitely rustic-chic. There are blackboards scrawled with (rather pricy) crab specials, a deep-blue ceiling and a menu that will tempt even the most dedicated fish-o-phobes into a flurry of patriotic ordering: Scottish mackerel, Devon crab... can you feel that bracing British sea breeze?

Oystermen is the first permanent restaurant from the successful oyster traders, so the bivalves are the speciality of course, and it’s doing rather inventive things with them. First up were decadent tempura oysters with champagne aioli and salty, fresh caviar. The hot buffalo oysters that followed were not so good. Oystermen: when you have something so pure and achingly delicious as an oyster, why would you drown it in what tastes like shop-bought hot sauce? Pickled shellfish salad was another example of death by over-saucing.

The meal was salvaged by sensational smoked cod roe and spicy deep-fried mussels. There was also a lovely ceviche. The quality of the fish at Oystermen really is superb – just avoid the dishes where things get saucy.


Address: 32 Henrietta Street
Covent Garden
Transport: Tube: Covent Garden
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £90
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Users say (5)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:1
2 people listening

Great little spot. Had a dozen mixed oysters and smashed a 2kg Brown crab from Dorset, all washed down with their own epic oyster stout. Quality simple seafood in a bit of a tourist area, quite unexpected!

Flies and drips.

Pretty unlucky but we seated directly under the a/c unit which started dripping quite quickly after we arrived.   They turned off the a/c which helped a bit.   I had to dodge the drip for a while until I got really angry about it and the manager tried to move us - but as the tables are wedged in very tightly in the room and no table was free, we had to wait another 15 minutes of drips because moving.  There is a fly problem at the restaurant as well.  Real shame as the food is good.

Advice:   don't sit under the a/c unit and take a fly swat.   

Without doubt the finest seafood I've eaten - and it's in the heart of London! A super cool atmosphere in such a tiny space. The staff are awesome and the fish, as I've said, is top quality. It's becoming a real regular haunt for me. I always try and sneak in for the end of their oyster happy hour - the oysters are crazy fresh and bright tasting. Nice one 

Lovely little place... Excellent oysters, and the whole crab was an absolute beast! Attentive service to, and loved looking into the tiny kitchen to see the chefs work away. Looking forward to going back!

They started as a pop-up in South Kensington and now have a permanent spot in Covent Garden. 

Their seafood is delivered daily from the British Isles and there is a choice of Champagne and wines.

I sat at the window bar and was welcomed by one of the owners who was very hospitable. He began explaining their oysters: Maldon Rock, Blackwater Wild and Kumamoto. One could opt for the buffalo-barbecue and Cajun batter but being a purist, I ordered the Porthilly Rock oysters raw, which possessed just the right amount of sweetness.

The pickled mussels and cockles were subtly sweet and tangy and the pickled mackerel with yoghurt was well-marinated and succulent.

For mains I had the Coley bap with tartare sauce which came with well-seasoned old bay fries. A ‘posh’ version of fish finger sandwiches reminiscent of my primary school lunches!

For dessert, I had the white chocolate ganache with strawberries and basil which was simple with well paired flavours. 

Rock oysters start at £2 each, snacks at £3.50 and starters from £7.50. Mains are £10-15 and whole crabs are priced by weight. It is a quality fish restaurant in a quaint little setting where oystermen owners are truly passionate about what they do. I think you might have just found your ‘catch of the day.'

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