Address: 8A Lamb Street, London, E1 6EA
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‘Happy hour’ normally conjures up images of people ferociously guzzling watered-down alcohol in pursuit of maximum drunkenness for minimum financial outlay. Nothing wrong with that per se, but last Friday evening we came across a happy hour with an altogether more civilised twist.
Wright Brothers, server of all things seafood, based in Spitalfields Market, East London, run a happy hour on oysters every day of the week between 15:00 and 18:00. For a pound a pop, you can have as many Jersey Rock Oysters as your digestive system can handle.
Never ones to shirk a challenge, we promptly ordered a fistful of the little creatures, which were the colour of ivory, and came sat on a bed of ice, accompanied by a sharp slice of lemon, a crimson bowl of red vinegar, and a bottle of tabasco sauce to add some fire to the proceedings. Getting into the happy-hour mood, I threw the first oyster back like a shot. It was a cold, salted mouthful of the ocean, bringing back memories of the fresh breeze on the coast, waves lapping at rocks.
Five minutes later and I was hailing the waitress and demanding reinforcements, which turned out to be the little duo of oysters you see on this blog… the first batch having been eaten before they could be recorded for our loyal audience.
I had to be dragged away from ordering yet another round, switching to a bowl of Shetland mussels swimming in a sauce of white wine, garlic and parsley. The sauce could have been a little thicker, and a little more garlicky, but the dish was pleasant enough.
My partner in culinary crime ordered up a scallop ceviche, which came vibrant and decorative in a large shell. The ceviche was wincingly sharp, the citrusy flavour sending a shiver from my tongue down to my toe and back up again.
Our appetites almost sated on these bountiful gifts of the ocean, we ordered up one more item, a pan-fried cod, with potatoes and chorizos. This was a little bland for our liking, but perhaps after a dozen oysters and a large bowl of mussels we were simply suffering from a mollusc overload, and in no condition to take on a fish. A side of buttered vegetables were well done, and recently beat out Comptoir Gascon in our battle of the dishes!
Situated in the middle of the financial City (which is something of a restaurant desert), I recommend Wright Brothers as an excellent spot for City workers looking to dine clients in an affordable and convivial environment.
As I paid the bill, the shells of oysters scattered on my plate, I was minded of the refrain from the Walrus and Carpenter in Alice in Wonderland:
“Little Oysters? Little Oysters?
But answer, there came none
And this was scarcely odd because,
They’d been eaten,