Iconic seafood establishment in Mayfair
Scotts is an institution of London dating back to 1851 and allegedly where Ian Flemming discovered the dry Martini ‘shaken not stirred’ according to the restaurant. The restaurant decor and splendid oyster bar centrepiece certainly makes this a splendid dining spot and in the summer you will need to book a long time in advance for one of the few outdoor tables. Seafood is the forte and there were some good examples here but equally, I found the price tag hard to justify the experience overall. As its heritage is so far-reaching, it almost is the duty of every Londoner to have dined here at some stage, but I would find myself going back to Angler more often if it was purely for the seafood.
The four dishes had were shared by the four diners as all were not hugely hungry and this was one of the good points of the restaurant in that sharing was fine and there was a convivial understanding of this by the staff much to their credit. Tempura prawns were pleasant enough but with batter that was thick enough to be worthy of a fish and chip shop – this was not the kind of wafer-thin tempura that is served in Japan. These were also quite expensive at £19.
The sashimi was probably the star dish with good flavour, good sourcing and with a fine kumquat and wasabi dressing. A side of welsh rarebit was disappointingly akin to melted cheese on toast without the bechamel and Worcester sauce being the main treat. Fried haddock was pleasing enough but for where I was and for the price of £20, you would hope for excellence and it was a shame that I think you could actually get slightly better at Poppie’s or even The Mayfair Chippy for just the fish and chips. Saving grace was found within the roasted cod however, which was succulent and packed with flavour along with the cauliflower puree and chorizo.
Overall this was a pleasing enough experience inside a restaurant and the staff were genuinely welcoming, but the price seems to reflect the institution rather than the products on the plate. I am still looking for the champion of fish and chips in London to try and rival Padstow, Whitby or 2 Michelin starred The Hand and Flowers – does such a place exist?
Food Grade: 64%
Location (Click google logo for directions)