Where to get the best oysters in London, plus expert guide to oysters
Oysters have come back onto menus with gusto recently. No longer are these brackish bivalve beauties the preserve of the rich, only to be enjoyed with fizz and fuss, chefs are now sharing them with us all year round
How to get the most out of oysters.
Search menus for the different varieties of oysters available and the different ways they can be prepared. While we’re big fans of keeping it natural – raw, with a splash of lemon juice, Tabasco, or with red wine and shallot vinegar (mignonette) – popping them under the grill adds another dimension that we’re loving at this time of year, changing their texture and mellowing their flavour.
One word of warning, though: remember that oysters should be just as fresh, whether you’re eating them raw or cooked, so check the shell is closed before you shuck, and that they smell of the sea (rather than a dead fish).
Looking for a quick and easy recipe? Check out our grilled oysters with garlic butter.
Decatur’s Tom Browne has been selling buttery, piquant barbecued oysters at Druid Street Market in Bermondsey for several years, as well as at his temporary home in Dalston. We’re big fans of his soulful Southern cooking – these are made with a whipped garlic and pecorino butter, and finished with parsley, cajun spices and hot sauce. @DecaturLondon
London seafood merchants, Wright Bros Ltd (who have their own sustainable oyster farm on the Helford River in Cornwall) serve an assortment of oysters (up to 15) from across the UK and France in a variety of ways at their five London restaurants. Try the Rockefeller, which is grilled with a spinach and herb butter.
During the summer, shucking specialists The Oystermen barbecue Maldon oysters – “not too big, with soft meat” – with butter laced with Worcestershire sauce and Frank’s hot sauce, then top with crumbled blue cheese and chives. They're about to open The Oystermen Seafood Bar and Kitchen in Covent Garden, where you can enjoy oysters as well as the freshest crabs, clams, cockles and mussels.
Hawksmoor, which has restaurants in London and Manchester, might be best known for its meat, but one of our favourite dishes is Jersey rock oysters roasted with bone marrow and breadcrumbs, as tried at the new Borough Market outlet. Surf and turf just got even better.
Images | Vinny Whiteman, Steven Joyce
Visit Olivemagazine.com for our guide to oysters and our favourite oyster recipes.