I was a local in London Bridge for many years and Borough Market was like my local ‘supermarket’. I remember it before the tourist boom, when a leisurely Saturday strolling around the market was a pleasure. It wasn’t uncommon to see a few celebs (Jamie Oliver and the like) who would never be able to step foot in the place now without being mobbed.
One of the more recent restaurants which border the market is the Wright Brothers Oyster and Porter House. I had walked past a few times on the weekends and looked at the place heaving. I gave up trying to get a table. Lately I have been lucky to have a few mid-week lunch times free.The focus of the restaurant is seafood. And lots of it! They source fish and shellfish from sustainable stocks and as much as they can from small day boats in Cornwall. They also have a oyster farm on the Helford River in Cornwall.
The atmosphere is relaxed with wooden tables and a long bar. The menu is displayed on the blackboard in the middle of the room with specials above the chefs stoves. The choice is not easy and their portion sizes generous. This is where I usually sit, happily tucking into some oysters while watching the shucking going on.
As you sit down a plate of bread appears. Now don’t think you can push this to the side in favour of more seafood. The treacle soda bread is so delicious, I always ask for more. They have quite a large wine list with some great matches and interesting beers as well.
Then of course the oysters. They do a lovely mixed platter, great if you want a variety and great if your still discovering which oyster is your favourite. Sorry about the missing oysters, I tucked in before I even thought about a photo. I first liked Fine de Claires then I tried the Carlingford Lough and they were my favourites, then I tried Maldon oysters and at the moment they are my favourtie. Natural, freshly shucked with a squeeze of lemon and the classic mignonette sauce, nothing beats it for me. They do them all sorts of other ways, including deep fried, if that’s your thing.
Feeling brave I decided to give whelks another try, yeah no they are still not for me. Empaling their slimy body and coaxing them out of their shell, with a sort of rubber-like texture, even with the rich mayonnaise, I couldn’t do it.
I cannot resist a plate of tender fried squid. Crispy perfectly cooked little tender bites.I love the relaxed style of cooking whilst still respecting the food of the sea, not complicating the flavours but relying on good produce to be the focus of the plate. The dishes are reasonably priced, the staff friendly with a buzzy atmosphere. This place is always busy and rightly so. They are opening a new restaurant in Soho early November. I’m sure it will be just as popular.