Stew and I spent one Friday evening just recently, wandering around Soho in search for a dinner spot. We had arranged a date night together, but Stew is very different to me. I like to plan things in advance, make a reservation, whereas Stew likes to go with the flow, see where the evening takes us. As he was treating me on this occasion, we went with his idea. Luckily we were eating early (ish) for London, at around 6.30pm, so getting a table for 2 wouldn’t be too much difficulty.
We were unsure of what we fancied food wise, and nothing was really standing out to us. That was until we walked up Greek Street and turned on to Bateman Street. Here we spotted a rather busy looking seafood restaurant. The look and feel of Bonnie Gull caught our eye immediately. With a small kitchen taking up most of the space, there was simply a marble bar running the full length of the kitchen, with stools and small lamps. It was busy but not packed, and we were able to get a spot towards the end of the bar. Here a lovely waitress explained the concept of Bonnie Gull – fresh seafood caught locally that morning, and an ever changing menu. As we perused the menu, we spotted a specials chalk board and immediately opted for the special of the day – mussels with fries for £11.
Our waitress came back with a bottle of water which she poured across the bar, and asked us what we’d like to drink. For some reason, rose wine sprang to mind, something I never normally pick, but luckily for me it was a gorgeous crisp and dry rose, with the perfect tint of colour.
Stew chose a beer but unfortunately the tap had just run dry, however our waitress was sweet enough to offer him the half pint that she’d managed to pour for free. It’s the little things like this that really change service from good to great in my eyes. He followed the beer up with a glass of white which he too, loved.
The menu is split into three sections – Oysters, Larder and Grill (plus nibbles to start and sides).
Not being a fan of oysters (they’re literally the only thing I can’t eat), we opted for dishes from the larder and grill. However, we started with whelks for £4 from the nibbles menu. I’d never tried whelks before, and probably won’t again, they weren’t for me unfortunately. But Stew really enjoyed them.
For the rest of our meal we chose to share the mussels as I mentioned, plus squid toast with squid ink aoili (pictured at the start of the post) and charcoal grilled monkfish cheek, duck heart and rosemary skewers with n’duja mayo (pictured below).
We also ordered a chargrilled Dorset cuttle fish dish, which I forgot to photograph, and a broad bean, pea, mint and whipped goats curd salad, which was phenomenal and added the perfect touch of freshness to the meal.
All in all everything tasted amazing. The seafood was cooked to perfect and the mix of flavours was beautiful. The dishes were the perfect size to share and allowed us to try a bit of everything. The dishes were also very reasonably priced, considering the exceptional freshness of the food and the fantastic ethos behind the company (which you can read more about below).
Dinner for 2 with service: £70
Bonnie Gull: 5/5
- Fantastic food and even better service!
- Incredibly reasonable prices for central London
- Fresh, tasty ingredients
- A gem of a find in Soho!