It was 7pm on a Saturday and London’s West End was bustling.
But we managed to escape the rabble by diving into J Sheekey.
Sat on the fish restaurant’s newly-opened summer terrace we could watch the madness from a safe distance.
Drunk revellers passed us by, interspersed with smartly-dressed theatre-goers.
J Sheekey is one of my favourite central spots for seafood but I hadn’t been for years.
On my return, I was delighted to find nothing much had changed other than the re-vamped terrace area.
Everything is done to perfection. Old-school character dressed with a dash of modern-day pizzazz.
We were shown to a table on the terrace next to J Sheekey’s twinkling mirrored windows. Everything was perfectly dressed, with lined up cutlery and ironed napkins, and my tired body sank into the golden velvet seat.
The new summer terrace menu at J Sheekey takes influence from more exotic reaches than the British coast, with dishes including Moroccan spiced tiger prawns and seared Galician octopus.
Another thing to note is the new menu and place mat artwork from famed newspaper cartoonist, Kipper Williams.
His ‘Catch of the Day’ series is playful and my dining companion Clare loved her mat which featured two scantily-clad swimmers hunting for fruits de mer.
If you’re a fan of martinis the Atlantic Bar special is a must-try, with a light lemongrass-infused Wyborowa vodka and seaweed thins on the side.
We balanced out the punchy drinks with a mix of tasty tapas.
Favourites included the giant padron peppers with a black squid ink aioli and the juicy slices of Galician octopus.
My falling out with oysters was turned on its head and I thoroughly enjoyed a mollusc from Morecambe Bay.
The red wine shallot vinegar was on point.
A breeze started to blow in true British style and we moved things inside.
Sat at my favourite spot in J Sheekey – the kitchen bar – we wiped our plates clean and rounded things off with a little plate of desserts.
The tiny mint macaron was divine, with a taste reminiscent of After Eights chocolates.
After a three hour dinner – service during pre-theatre hours can be manic – we scooted out to continue the night.
In the taxi we were sad we forgot to take out cheeky Kipper Williams place mats – we thought they’d look great framed on the loo wall of our apartments.
Another great excuse to pop back for another round of fishing at J Sheekey soon. Always a pleasure.
J Sheekey, 28-32 St Martin’s Court, London, WC2N 4A
To make a reservation for lunch or dinner visit www.j-sheekey.co.uk or call 020 7240 2565