Wednesday 24 November 2010

Wright Brothers Soho

The new Wright Brothers Soho is certainly a fun place to gather the troops, or dine solo, for seafood binges large and small.

Our Sunday night party of 6 gathered in the downstairs bar to share some champagne and oysters. I love the fit out of the bar area - high table seating, white tiles and exposed brickwork, industrial fittings, high ceilings and an open kitchen set the scene for a potentially buzzing area once the crowds start flocking in. It would also be the perfect place to eat alone at the bar while watching your oysters being shucked.

Most of the searfood is sourced from Small Cornish day boats and is fresh and from sustainable stocks. The shellfish hails from Wright Brothers' own Duchy Oyster Farm on the Helford River in Cornwall, or other parts of Britain and France.

Mmm... oysters - the ultimate creamy, salty taste of luxury. We ordered 2 dozen - a mixture of everything including the special Japanese Kumamotos, Carlingfords, Duchy Natives, Colchesters, Speciales de Claire and Maldons. All were good, but I particularly liked the buttery Carlingfords and the small, briny Kumamotos.

Deep-fried whitebait with tartare sauce were slightly overseasoned but the delicate, crisp batter gave way to fresh, steamy moist flesh. Tiny Falmouth Bay prawns in garlic and butter are sweetly addictive and a large slab of toast lathered in a generous serving of fresh crab was also lovely and big in flavour.

Service was friendly but a little slow - I had the feeling they didn't want to disturb our conversation which meant we found it difficult to get the food coming. But, it's still early days.

Prices range from around £6-7 pounds for 3 oysters and the small tasting plates are generally around £4-9 each. Larger dishes like fish pie (£14.50) and ox cheek, ale and oyster pie (£18.50) are there for more substantive bites. I say it's very reasonably priced.

The dessert menu is also appealing (including lemon sorbet from Gelupo, chocolate pot and hazlenuts or Neals Yard cheese). However, we outstayed the bar's shorter opening hours on Sunday (I think it closed at about 11pm), so we hit Bar Italia (it's been years, YEARS!) for panettone and fab hot chocolates.

The upstairs restaurant at Wright Brothers Soho is also gorgeous - a slightly more romantic setting with candlelight and large windows overlooking Kingly Street. I already liked the original Borough branch, and now the Soho venue is a place to which I'll definitely be returning on a regular basis - for a more substantial meal next time, and then again when the need for reasonably priced oysters and bubbly after a hard days shopping takes hold.

Wright Brothers Soho, 13 Kingley Street, Soho, London W1B 5PW

Wright Brothers (Soho) on Urbanspoon


  1. Looks like a lovely spot next time I have an oyster craving!

  2. Popped in there the other day for half a dozen oysters, a bowl of fish soup and a glass of Muscadet (as one does), and loved it. I thought the decor was a bit chain-y but I guess that's partly due it being so brand spanking new. Agree that the Carlingfords are lovely!

  3. PS: I should point out that (sadly) the Wright Bros. & I are not related.

  4. OMG, I love kumamotos, so nice to know where you can get them in London.

  5. Totally managed to miss this. Chastened and slightly red faced, I'll be heading down for pre-Christmas champagne and shellfish bingeing!


  6. LexEat - Yes, do!

    Hugh - I did wonder if there might be a photo of you above the doorway. Muscadet and oysters - perfect!

    Winesleuth - Yes, so rare. They certainly know their oysters.

    Grumbling Gourmet - What a lovely way to take a break from Christmas shopping.

  7. Booked in for dinner on Thursday and I am now very, very excited indeed.

  8. Gin and Crumpets - Excellent! Soho really is getting some great eating options.

  9. We always used to winder, growing up in Cornwall, why you could never find good fish to buy - it was because of places like this!

    It's really good to see people focusing on local and sustainably sourced seafood. And why wouldn't you when it can be as good as this sounds. I also like the Borough sibling so will have to head out this way to give them a try.

  10. Looks delicious Carly, my mouth is watering at the sight of those oysters! I'll have to check it out. Fab pics as well! xx

  11. Grubworm - So simple, but so good.

    Christina - Thanks!

  12. Lovely place, great pictures. I passed in front of it 2 weeks ago and now I know everything about it. Thanks Carly. Should take my English rose next time we'll be in Soho!

  13. Riccardo - sounds like a grand plan.

    Catty - so close to home for you. I'm already planning a little break there during my Christmas shopping this weekend.


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