With summer almost in full swing in London, there's nothing I enjoy more than having light and refreshing food that is perfect for warm days and outdoor eating. And when it comes to food that won't weigh you down but still packs a punch of flavour, seafood is my ultimate choice.
Over the last decade, I've developed an even deeper appreciation for seafood, putting my carnivorous cravings on hold. Whenever I think of cooking and particularly during the summer, my mind instantly turns to the sea and the vast range of choices / flavours you can get from this island. From soles to oysters, and Mediterranean prawns to wild salmon, there are endless possibilities to cater to every taste bud out there. Whether you're enjoying a beachside feast or dining in the city, seafood dishes paired with a refreshing white or sparkling wine are the way to go.
If you're looking for a fantastic seafood experience, check out the places I'm listing below.
This dish holds a special place in my heart as the ultimate summer craving due to its refreshing, citrusy, and light flavours. Ceviche is the most famous Peruvian dish, originated in the capital city of Lima but is also popular in coastal regions across South America, including Chile, Ecuador, and Colombia.
Alongside the rise in popularity of Pisco Sour in London, ceviche has also made its mark in the UK as a refined dish within the capital's culinary scene. But the truth is that ceviche is eaten in every single corner of Peru and in a way that it’s comfort food rather than a piece of elevated dish to satisfy demanding paletes.
So, what exactly is ceviche?
Let's address a common misconception. In the UK, any fish preparation with a bit of lemon is often referred to as ceviche, as seen on many restaurant menus and even on shows like MasterChef. However, true ceviche is much more than that. At its core, it involves marinating raw fish in lime juice, onion, and chili, with variations depending on the recipe. Sounds easy, right? It may seem simple to prepare, but achieving the perfect balance of flavours can be extremely challenging. While I won't go into the details of preparing ceviche (since I still struggle to create a version that resembles the original Peruvian recipe), you can watch a preparation by one of Peru's most influential chefs, Gaston Acurio.
Pictures: Mine at Lima, Lima Instagram, Mr Lobo Instagram
Where can you eat sublime Ceviches?
In the heart of Fitzrovia you can find this acclaimed Peruvian restaurant, run by its talented head chef Marco Padilla. In Lima you can find one of the best ceviches in London as well as a wide range of classic Peruvian preparation with a contemporary twist.
Interesting fact: Lima was the first Peruvian restaurant to win an acclaimed star from Michelin.
A newly opened restaurant in Angel that has already left a good impression among my close Peruvian circle of friends. Beyond ceviche, you can find delicious Octopus tiradito, causas and much more - a star on the rise.
Oysters and seafood
Hot summer days, outdoor seating, and savouring an endless feast of seafood bites complemented by a chilled glass of white or sparkling wine-does it get any better than that? That for me is the ultimate way to celebrate the summer vibes in London!
Let me tell you, oysters are my go-to craving, anytime, anywhere, and London has no shortage of fantastic spots to enjoy these delights and other seafood treats.
Whether you're seeking a memorable seafood experience or simply craving some freshly shucked oysters, these spots won't disappoint.
As an oyster aficionado, I've been frequenting this place since they opened in the mid-2010s and it has now expanded to become a renowned seafood institution in the heart of London's Covent Garden. It is likely that you will be pleasantly surprised by their simple yet delicious dishes. But what's even more interesting is their impressive selection of not just one, but six different types of oysters: Maldon, Menai, Maldon Kumamoto, Louet-Feisser Select, Whitstable Rocks, and Jersey Rocks.
Interesting fact: Weekdays they have a happy hour bargain, oysters + glass of bubble offer.
Pictures: Oystermen Instagram
While I enjoy the food here, it's more about the setting and overall experience than the meal itself. Located in bustling Borough Market, you can find this restaurant offering outside seating and the option to get a proper seafood platter to be enjoyed with a side of chips and wine. For me, this combination creates the ideal lunch or mid-afternoon break on a sunny summer day.
Pictures: Wright Brothers Instagram
In the heart of trendy Stokey is Escocesa, a fantastic Spanish seafood restaurant that showcases the use of Scottish ingredients, hence the clever name. They have a fantastic selection of fish and shellfish preparations which can also be enjoyed at the counter. They also have unique beers and wines to accompany your selection.
Interesting fact: £1 oysters every Sunday
Pictures: Escocesa Instagram
Two elevated seafood restaurants for special occasions and in contrasting locations.
Even though this isn't a dedicated seafood restaurant, I couldn't help not sharing it here. Sachi is my favourite Japanese restaurant in London and what they do is celebrate Japanese food and culture. Sachi is located in the wealthy and touristy Belgrave area, clearly far from my turf, but here you can taste astonishing Japanese food. The freshest of sea ingredients can be found here, like line-caught fish from across the British Isles that they prepare at their sushi counter. And the best thing is, you can pair any of their tartars, sashimi or sushi with sparkling or cold sake, they have a huge selection.
This intimate 1 Michelin star fish-focused tasting menu restaurant can be found in the trendy London Fields area. Behind is the place for all seafood lovers who want to experience a unique tasting menu using only the best products the UK waters have to offer.
Interesting fact: The entire menu and overall service is done by the chefs.
Pictures: Behind Instagram and mine
Happy to hear you thoughts and recommendations!