|Raspberry ripple ice-cream with boozey cherries and shortbread|
Despite there being so many new and interesting restaurants popping up in Covent Garden, it's also nice to visit one of the more old school establishments every now and then. Lunch at J Sheekey was just the ticket. The old timer at the table next to us remarked to the waiter that her mother had brought her to J Sheekey as a young girl - and it feels like that kind of place.
Black and photos of theatre starlets line the mahogany panelled walls. The long standing appeal of the place comes down to its history, effortless style, seamless (if a little stiff) service and well sourced ingredients executed properly.
As part of the Caprice Holdings group (which includes stalwart establishments, The Ivy and Scotts), J Sheekey is predominantly a fish and seafood restaurant, and the best of its offerings is probably not on the set lunch menu that we opted for. The plateau de fruits de mer for 2 people looks stunning.
However, the weekend lunch menu, at £26.50 per person for 3 courses, is probably the best means to get away lightly in what is otherwise a pricey restaurant.
Gravlax with marinated cucumber and a Swedish mustard dressing was a small but silky starter, while my fabulous, tender grilled squid perched atop a sweet, nutty red pepper sauce.
|The Sheekey Fish Pie|
J Sheekey has a reputation for its fish pie - and while it's not as unctuous as the one you'll find at Bentley's, it is creamy and comforting, and laden big chunks of salmon and prawns. There's a satisfyingly thick and crispy layer of potato on top, although my pie was lacking in white fish.
Since they had run out of salmon, TPG enjoyed the rich feast that was the grilled chicken with buttered cabbage and earthy wild mushrooms - a terrific, hearty option if you don't want fish.
The clementine sponge pudding with warm custard is gorgeous - the perfect wintry dessert. The pretty raspberry ripple ice-cream was not as impressive, but the boozey cherries gave it a lovely kick and it came with a fine, crisp shortbread.
J Sheekey also offers a fish and chips and glass of house wine deal for £16.50, and it's worth keeping in mind as a pre- or post theatre option, being in the heart of West End theatre land. You could also try the J Sheekey Oyster Bar next door, which is always bustling - reservations at either the bar or restaurant can be hard to come by, so plan ahead.
J Sheekey, 32034 St Martin's Court, Covent Garden, WC2N 4AL (Tel: 020 7240 2565)