Monday 24 January 2011

J. Sheekey, Covent Garden

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. 

Grilled squid

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.

Clementine pudding

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)

J Sheekey on Urbanspoon


  1. Love J Sheekey - it is my pre theatre go to place

  2. Oooh... J Sheeky is definitely on my ever growing list of restaurants to try. Goodness me, how gorgeous does that Clementine pudding look! Cheers for the lunchtime menu tip. :)

  3. I miss this restaurant so much. Great photos.

  4. Lovely photos. Looks like a good place to duck into before the theatre as you say, but perhaps not if not dining on the set menu.

  5. Gourmet Chick - Yes, I really love the old world, classic feel of it.

    Yeebot - I adored the clementine pudding. I keep day dreaming about it.

    Hamish - Thanks!

    LexEat - Thanks. I would love to try the full menu too, but you have to be prepared to spend up.

  6. I've heard a few good things about J Sheekey's but haven't really ever had the urge to go. The fish pie sounds and looks delicious though. one day. I will get there!

  7. Oh my, that looks amazing. I'll put it on my must-try list for when I'm in Covent Garden.

  8. J Sheekey is always such a treat ... you've reminded me that I NEED to make a return visit very soon.

  9. Desperate to go - we once foolishly tried to get in without a booking on a Saturday night and got a sympathetic smile from the staff! Note to self - book ahead to get your hands on that raspberry ripple above.

  10. Catty - Too many places to go, too little time! I know the feeling!

    ThatsLondon - Enjoy!

    Good Bite In - It must be time!

    The London Food Police - Yep, I've tried the last minute walk in SO many times and it NEVER works!!

  11. Enjoyed reading this. I went to J Sheekey's years ago, long before I had my blog, and loved it. I've always fancied going back and trying it again. Lovely photos btw. I thought they were notoriously arsey about snapping in the restaurant.
    Have they lightened up or were you just discreet?

  12. Dan - Perhaps I was just discreet (I didn't know that about them!). I have a very sleuthlike method. Point, shoot, dive for the food.


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