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IT’S OH-FISH-IAL - You need this ‘shellmelier’ service in your life

4 minutes

87% of Brits love eating fish and seafood at least twice a week according to a recent poll by TheFork. Despite this, 62 percent claim they wish they were more knowledgeable about seafood, with almost half insisting it is cool to order seafood such as oysters, lobster, and crab in a restaurant. In fact, 18 percent have ordered a dozen oysters to impress a date, and a staggering 61 percent said ordering fish and seafood can be as confusing as ordering wine at a restaurant.

Never one to miss an oppor-tuna-ty, TheFork has teamed up with leading London seafood and fish restaurants to offer the first ever “Shellmelier” service. For the first time ever, patrons will be offered a completely unique and one-on-one dining experience, enabling them to call on trained in-restaurant experts who specialise in all aspects of seafood and fish to help diners with their fishy dilemmas. Just like a Sommelier offers specialised knowledge and recommendations on wine, TheFork’s new Shellmelier service will ‘sea’ dedicated fish experts brought in on the sole basis to share their knowledge with restaurant patrons – from where to locate the tastiest, most tender meat in a crab leg to the simple hacks they’ll need up their sleeves to shuck an oyster perfectly, every time.

Here’s a run down of some of the fantastic seafood restaurants in London - where you can enjoy food guided by our 'Shellmelliers’...

Seasons, Mayfair

For a journey around all four seasons with an expert in seafood, look no further than Seasons in Mayfair. Serving up fresh catch from the Mediterranean Sea in unrivaled style, book a table in this upscale location now and have our Shellmellier guide you through their feast of a menu. Learn how to shuck oysters as you crack into Maldon Rock and Whitstable Concave, freshly caught in local British bays. Sample fine Sea Bass Carpaccio with pomegranate, pernod and toasted almonds or enjoy seasonal Crudo Selection that are subject to availability at the local fish markets. Explore dishes on the more raw side with Bluefin Tuna Tartare with yuzu and Wild Salmon Tartare with Spicy Avocado or explore your way around a Half Catalana Lobster, with a salad with red onion, tomato and basil. See for yourself why patrons deem this one of the best restaurants in Mayfair.

TheFork Rating : 9.3, Opening hours: 12pm – 10.30pm


Baccalà, Bermondsey

At Baccalà, you can experience the finest in Italian high-cuisine that London has to offer, with fantastic seafood recipes showcasing the freshest pesce. Head chef Moreno Polverini and his team bring a touch of flair to every delicious dish. Opt for the Oyster tasting menu, and sample a refined taste of expertly sourced ostriche served in unforgettable style. The roasted octopus is delightful served in colonnata with marinated peppers, olives and basil. Or, try the signature Baccalà, whipped salted cod and mussels with berlotti beans and puntarelle. The la pentolaccia is a delicious seafood dish of maccheroncini, prawns, long pepper, lemon and bottarga. The mezze maniche is a journey through mussels and black cuttlefish served with saffron. A rarity can be found in a pasta dish of linguine topped with turnip and ricci di mare sea urchin. 

Opening hours: 12pm – 11pm


Burger & Lobster. Soho

Blending together two delicious cuisines under one roof, Burger & Lobster is a Soho staple with a whole lotta seafood options. We're talking stuffed lobster rolls with salad, fries and sauce, alongside jumbo sharing lobsters and an array of side dishes like lobster croquettes, crab cocktail and Thai-style mussels. You can also switch it up with wagyu and Nebraskan beef burgers if you fancy a little variation while you dine.

Book Burger & Lobster, Soho 


Get up to scale on seafood with top tips from TheFork’s 'Shellmelier' at Seasons Mayfair


🦞 Ordering lobster?: 'Start with the legs, where you’ll find the juiciest and most tender meat and simply crack open the shell with the crackers. Then using the cockle forks, pick out as much meat as you can and enjoy!'

🦀 A key rule with seafood: 'If you come across a closed clam or mussel in your dish, do not attempt to prise it open. Not only is it incredibly hard, chances are it’s no good.'

🦐 Prawns are a good place to start: 'Get stuck in there - lemon wipes provided will save you afterwards – twist off the head, then split the body shell by legs and peel off. Finally, pull off the tail and voila, you’re left with succulent prawn meat!'

🦪 Oh, and one final thing...: 'Don’t be shy when it comes to ordering seafood and fish in restaurants! Even if you’re unsure, just go for it – you can discover and grill the UK’s first ever Shellmelier service with TheFork this summer!'


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