‘Thou shall hev a fishy on a little dishy,
Thou shall hev a fishy when the boat comes in.’
This English folk song played in my head all day on Thursday. The reason? Well apart from my annoying brain, I was off to the Bonnie Gull that evening – a seafood shack in Fitzrovia that serves fresh British fish to the people of London.
Driftwood chairs, shells acting as doorhandles, white paper table cloths and shelves made from fish merchant’s boxes transport you miles from central London, to a coastal town. A CD playing ‘sounds from the ocean’ wouldn’t feel out of plaice* in this charming restaurant. But I can sea** why that might be a step too far.
Our booking was a late one – 9pm to be precise. Despite getting there a little early, we were seated quickly and it wasn’t long before we’d ordered food and enjoyed an amuse bouche of Jerusalem Artichoke soup.
Staring at the ever-changing menu, we skipped the ‘raw bar’ and went straight for starters – Pembrokeshire Mussels for me and Isle of Man Queenies for The Boyfriend. My mussels were big and delicious. Each delicious morsel had a taste of the sea, wonderfully complimented by the creamy mariniere sauce.
Queenies are a much smaller variety of scallop – something I didn’t realise when I exclaimed ‘my god, they’re not very big are they!’. Classically paired with chorizo, spinach and lemon puree, they were light, sweet and eaten very quickly.
When it came to the mains, I went for the langoustine, which swam in a creamy, fish sauce, also covering gnocchi and chicken pieces. The langoustine itself was very tasty, but for me, the sauce was too sweet.
Far better was The Boyfriend’s plaice. Covered in cockles and mussels alive alive o (actually, it was just cockles), crispy croutons and a Meuniere sauce, the white fish was perfectly cooked and in plentiful supply.
We debated pudding, but gave in to our achingly full stomachs. Besides, we’d spied the chocolate truffles that came with the bill, so knew we’d get a sweet fix anyway.
Speaking of the bill, having dined on four substantial portions of fresh fish and drunk a bottle of extremely pleasant house white, we were surprised it only came to £43 each with tip.
So, if you love fish as much as I do, I highly recommend paying a visit to the Bonnie Gull – its charm, seafood selection and price give it a LLE Rating of 8/10.
The Bonnie Gull, 21A Foley Street, London W1W 6DS
*Please note that this is a deliberate mistake, just for laughs
**Again, this was done on purpose