It is a thoroughly old-fashioned spot – formerly Diana's Diner – with a maroon-tiled facade, a white tiled interior and antique mirrors on which are written their daily changing selection of fresh whole fish which make up most of the mains. Delightful illustrations of scallops, oysters, crab and more have been hand-painted on tiles above the open kitchen by food stylist Rosie Ramsden.
It's small with only 30 seats: a combination of small tables and counters to perch at in front of the kitchen and at the side of the restaurant – immediately it feels cosy and inviting.
It's the kind of menu that makes us think we will be back often. The potted shrimp croquettes are sensational. Crisp on the outside, rich and molten within – undoubtably they will be much imitated, making an excellent bar snack with a glass of wine pre-theatre. Crab pizzaladerie is another clever invention: a heady mix of tomato, crab and herb on ultra thin pastry that transports us to the South of France.
To start, sea trout tartare with Bloody Mary jelly is a beautiful combination: light, clean with a good sharp kick from the delicate jelly.
Keeping to eating healthily, we opted for the daily specials of whole plaice and monkfish, served straight up and cooked to perfection, though we couldn't resist the lobster mash. This is utterly sensational with huge moist chunks of lobster: it is possibly the ultimate comfort food for pescatarians. For a less abstemious meal, we will be returning for octopus with pork fat potatoes and parsley oil, black rice with squid and aioli, and turf meats surf: pork and seaweed sausages, made in house. There is a fish pie too, which may even compete with J Sheekey's definitive dish.
Desserts are fairly limited: a very decent apple tart and a choice of ices/sorbets presently.
Wine-wise, there is a generous choice of genuinely interesting wines available by the glass plus grower champagnes too.
Price: £60.00 + for lunch/dinner for two with wine. £30.00+ for a couple of bar snacks and a glass of wine
|What||Parsons seafood restaurant|
|Where||Parsons, 39 Endell Street, London, WC2H 9BA | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Covent Garden (underground)|
06 Dec 17 – 06 Dec 18, Mon-Sat 12 noon-11pm