My body warned me once that mussels were not my bag whilst I was in a kayak crossing the Adriatic Sea; so what made me bloody brave enough to head on over to one of the most notorious shell and fish names in the London restaurant directory? Let me explain....
Being both slick, and able to pull off a theme (especially that of an underwater one) is something that so many restaurants in London lose slumber over, but seemingly not Wright Brothers in Spitalfields. While it feels like all tones, textures and materials are set to echo that of the ocean, from marbled scale-inspired green tiling to rustic rope, the venue itself is stylishly offset by an island bar that offers guests live shucking alongside a patio where cod under the foliage only seems fair. Wright Brothers really doesn't feel effortless, it's not meant to; you're meant to feel like everything here is smartly and succinctly curated by hand, from the portholes in the bathroom to the bare wooden boards.
The Food and Drink
Oysters, clambering crustaceans and fish, if it's adept to breathing underwater you can pretty much eat it at Wright Brothers. Now, oysters; we have a horrible past together, and it wasn't something i'd risk, but owing to a dining friend who'd never tried them, the waitress lovingly brought over a petite Jersey Royal for Grace. Grace loved it, and is now crowned a mother shucker for life.
Bacon is not good for you, reasonable levels of fish are, and it's something that Wright Brothers shone down on us. Your tastebuds can tell when something's fresher than Fresh Prince, and it's something this restaurant prides itself on. Starting on their small plates selection, we flitted between the smoked haddock and mustard croquettes (£6.75) and the tempura shrimps (£8.50). I'm a shrimp hound, but these must have been the freshest i'd ever had, coming perfectly alongside croquettes that practically disarm and dissolve you with a warm, savoury hug. Our mains were strong contenders in the white fish department, flitting between baked cod with a rarebit crust (£22.50) and roasted sea bass fillet with chicken liquor. Glossy, slightly glass-like in texture and flaked to perfection, the savoury edge of crust to the cod added extra balance while the sea bass was offset by the ginger perfectly. Paired with purple sprouting broccoli, we had a meal that was light, humble and indulgent all at once.
Pairing white wine with fish is a skill, it's CV worthy and hard to do, and Wright Brothers didn't let us down. Offering us a white that went perfectly with our white fish, the P.G.R Pinot Gris from the Yealands Estate in NZ (£37 per bottle) landed with a swift, sweet edge and closed with perfect dry notes. Other drinks to note? The cocktails, not only was their Cocktail Of The Month a fresh and fruity plum twist, my tart savior came in the shape of their Brugal Anejo Rum and Dom Benedictive 'Drunken Monk'; it's not a sour, but it's perfectly punchy and close thanks to the lemon and lime accompaniments.
Two friends catching up loosely over wine was sure to conjure an atmosphere all its own, but I doubt Wright Brothers really needed us all that much. Brimming, and with bums on every seat, Wright Brothers is such a blend of furniture and textures that the space itself owes to a really charming, relaxed and honest dining enviroment; flitting between couples getting serious over a Poseidon inspired platter together, families catching up on the patio dining space and friends gettin' fishy.
Eating it, looking at it, swimming in it, shouting at it, tickling it; I love everything about the ocean and Wright Brothers secured my entrapment in Davy Jones' Locker. With illustrous interiors, and lucid dishes that really pay true homage to the vastly deep, this Spitalfields offering reflects the notorious area, and responsible fish-dining just right.