11 Stoney Street
London SE1 9AD
Tel. 020 7403 9554
Food type: Seafood (British)
Food rating: 3/10
Nearest tube: London Bridge
Website: Wright Brothers
Part two of my Borough Market exploits sees me paying a visit to Wright Brothers. I had to pay a visit to Borough Market anyways to place my order for a Goose which is my bird of choice this Christmas.
Wright Brothers started out in 2002 as a humble wholesaler of oysters, specifically of the French variety. Today, they are one of the country’s most respected wholesaler supplying hotels and restaurants as far as Bath, Bristol and Christchurch. Similarly, their restaurant, located opposite Borough Market stocks some of the best British and French oysters as well as a small selection of seafood dishes and pies.
The restaurant is unmissable with large barrels and stools placed outside the dark green building. Upon stepping into the restaurant, you are whisked off to a time of forgotten past. The decor, or lack of, is simple with cold, stony brick walls and the dilapidated paint job, giving you the feel of a bustling tavern. Patrons are given a choice of either sitting on high stools and tables or at the oyster bar where you can watch one of the chefs masterfully shucking our zinc-heavy molluscal friends.
The menus are… wait a minute. There are no menus! Instead, the menu is listed on blackboards. This includes a list of the restaurant staples, the various oysters available as well as the daily specials based on the freshest catch of the day. Emphasis is naturally placed on the oysters as in addition to them being served au naturel, they can be prepared in various other methods. You can enjoy your oysters in the form of rarebit, together with a beef & Guinness pie or best yet in different thematic approaches. For example, Spanish style oysters are served with Chorizo.
As we are sat, we were offered a small basket of different types of bread – a white bloomer with poppy seeds, raisin and a ‘mincemeat’ bread. Bread was served cold and were rather chewy. (2/10) This was accompanied by some good quality butter.
We started with a selection of their ‘prepared’ oysters. New Orleans oysters were bread crumbed and deep-fried, served with good quality, homemade tartare sauce. The oysters were masterfully prepared, with the hot, crispy batter hiding the cool, milky oyster. The tartare sauce had good depth of flavour, with small chunks of gherkins and a nice kick from the mustard. (4/10) Japanese style oysters featured raw oysters dressed in a soy dip, pickled ginger and a tiny pinch of wasabi. These were less successful, the saltiness of the soy drowning the natural saltiness of the oyster. (1/10)
My mains were some Scampi served with Tartare sauce. This is not the horrible frozen scampi you get in your local low-budget chippy. These bad boys are sourced from the Isle of Lewis all the way from Scotland. The fat, juicy langoustines were again faultlessly deep-fried, maintaining their natural sweetness and texture. The scampi were accompanied by a pretty standard side serving of salad leaves. (3/10)
Meanwhile D enjoyed a plate of Harissa Grilled Prawns. while I did not get to try it, her feedback was that the prawns were fresh and grilled to perfection.
The dessert menu is limited although this did contain one of my favourites – Crème brûlée. Whilst ‘burnt cream’ is a simple enough dish it is actually a good test of a chef’s skill as it is hardly done right. The pudding served here was pretty descent with a good amount of vanilla flavour, the custard cold, creamy, calorific and slightly runny as it should be. Of course, crème brûlée wouldn’t be crème brûlée if we didn’t talk about the caramelised layer. Satisfying crunch when I tapped it with my spoon? check! Deep, toffee-like flavour? Check! My only grievance is that the layer was a touch too thick (ideally this layer should be wafer thin) (4/10)
Lunch at Wright’s was enjoyable due to the relaxed atmosphere and friendly staff. Certainly, the restaurant makes no pretensions as to what the star of the show is – Oysters, oysters and more oysters as can be seen by the quality of their oysters. (Memo to myself: if I do come back, I must try their oysters, au naturel). This is certainly a good place to stop by for lunch after enjoying a long stroll across the river.
(Note: Wright Brothers also run a stall in Borough market where you can enjoy a selections of oysters al fresco if you do not fancy dining in their restaurant or prefer to enjoy the weather outside. This is also handy if you wish to grab a pint from the nearby pub.)