Monday, October 24, 2016

Wright Brothers Soho: From Sea to Plate

One of my favourite seafood restaurants in London to indulge in oysters, whelks, winkles and razor clams, Wright Brothers relaunched their Soho restaurant since our last visit, with a major redesign of the interiors by English designer Brady Williams, and introduced a new chef Sasha Diverts, who has given the shellfish emporium's classical seafood dishes a new Asian twist, such as Cornish Mussels with Panang Curry Sauce and Grilled Madagascan Tiger Prawns with Garlic Aioli. Thankfully, the menu still retains its emphasis on serving the highest quality seafood and extensive menu of raw dishes presented as pure and simple as possible, including classic fruits de mer, ceviche and tartare, alongside an extensive variety of oysters served ‘naked’ or ‘dressed’, sourced from their own Duchy Oyster Farm, as well as from Scotland, Ireland, France, the Channel Islands and Canada. Seated at Wright Brothers' opulent new Brady Williams red leather banquette, another design feature is the ‘oyster cage’, a unique private dining area with open kitchen, surrounded by an enormous structure modelled on the oyster cages that Wright Brothers use on their own oyster farm. A family business which started in 2002 selling oysters to many of the best restaurants in London, Wright Brothers now has four restaurants across London plus The Ferry Boat Inn on the Cornish Helford River which dates back to the 16th-century. Hopefully one day, with a dedicated perseverance, I will walk along the Helford River overlooking the beds of the Wright Brothers’ Duchy oyster farm and feast on the freshest fish and seafood straight from the boat — one has to dream.

The new private banquette at Wright Brothers Soho

The oversized candelabra on the stairs beside the banquette

Wright Brothers' stylish new Victorian townhouse conversion with soft leathers 
and ceiling pendants hanging like a fisherman’s catch

'The Cage' is Wright Brothers' unique new private dining area with enormous structure modelled on the oyster cages that the Wright Brothers use on their own Duchy oyster farm

Seafood Mosaic across from our table

Wright Brothers menu with the best seafood in London

Bamboo basket of fresh bread

Glass of Pinot Grigio

Platter of Whelks, Razor Clams and half dozen each of Morecambe Bay Oysters 
and Jersey Rocks from the Channel Islands

Grilled Whole John Dory

Avocado and Microgreen Salad with Asian Wonton Crisps

Light and flakey Asian crisps

Chargrilled Tiger Prawns

Green Beans, Baby Gem and Curly Kale with Shallot Butter

Crispy Squid with Fiery Sea Pepper
Serves 4-6 as starter
Recipe courtesy of Chef Sasha Ziverts, Wright Brothers Soho

2 1/2 lb fresh squid, cleaned; or 4 1/2 lb uncleaned
10 oz cornflour
1 oz Cornish Sea Salt Fiery Sea Pepper
1/3 oz Cornish Sea Salt
1 bunch coriander, picked and finely chopped
1 bunch spring onions, finely chopped
2 1/2 cups vegetable or canola oil for deep frying

Clean the squid by removing the head, innards, body tube and ink sac then remove the skin membrane. Cut the squid in half and then lengthways, into 1/3-inch wide pieces. Place the squid in a colander and rinse under cold running water for five minutes, then pat dry.

Place the cornflour in a bowl and add the squid, liberally coating them and leave for 30 minutes. Heat the oil in a large saucepan to 180°F. Shake off any excess cornflour. If the flour is really wet, re-coat with some new flour — the squid needs to be coated but not caked.

Test the temperature of the oil by dropping a piece of squid into the oil – if it bubbles and fries at an even rate you are good to go.

Deep-fry the squid in batches for 2 minutes until golden and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Season straight away with Cornish Fiery Sea Pepper and Sea Salt. This will ensure the seasoning will stick to the coating. Toss through with coriander and spring onions.

Serve with your favourite chilli sauce and lots of lemon wedges. Or, for a variation, add a small amount of chilli sauce to mayonnaise.

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