photo credit: Seabird
Seabird is the restaurant that convinced us we like oysters. Actually, Seabird is the restaurant that convinced us we love oysters, especially when combined with panoramic views of London and an atmosphere that enables endless alfresco cocktail sipping, day or night. Grab the love of your life and head here for a truly memorable champagne-infused dinner or book a table for a group of out-of-towners who want to get all doe-eyed about eating in the shadow of the Shard. Or just bring yourself here for a romantic moment with a mollusc, soundtracked by the internal monologue of ‘I am living my very best life’. Because at Seabird, you are.
After whizzing up 14 floors of The Hoxton hotel, you’ll be delivered to a space that’s Côte d’Azur by way of Southwark. Tall potted trees are placed between every table, well-heeled guests recline in rattan chairs, and there are enough seashell details to leave you wondering whether Sebastian from The Little Mermaid has forayed into an interior design side hustle. Carry on walking and you’ll find the London rooftop jackpot—a long glamorous terrace complete with tropical foliage and decorative cushions. But it’s the ice-stacked raw bar inside which is your first clue that this seafood restaurant is serious about oysters. The second is that there are no fewer than 10 varieties of oyster to choose from, headlined by a selection of bubbles.
Unlike many of its oyster-wielding contemporaries, Seabird isn’t remotely stuffy and the servers are happy to guide you through your options with zero side-eye. Do you want to feel like your mouth is fizzing with salt spray? Interested in something with a hit of milky richness? New to the aphrodisiac fish game and want to start with a classic? They’ll craft a mollusc pick-n-mix experience that will impress newbies, long-time fanatics, and anyone who agrees that the sweet, near-nutty flavour of a petite Louët-Feisser makes it the ultimate sunshine snack.
Of course, there are other things on the menu—decent croquetas, a decidedly messy octopus roll, a glorious whole lobster bathing in its own juices, and a manchego rice medley—but make no mistake, you’re here for the assortment of excellent oysters and that view.
From Kent to Île d’Oléron, Seabird has an impressive geographical spread of oyster talent. Our go-tos are the Whitstable Bay numbers for salty simplicity and the little Irish Louët-Feissers for creaminess factor. Order a selection and squeeze your lemon with pride.
Pan Con Tomate
Meh. Move along. No seafood, no bueno here.
Key word: zesty. An explosion of lime and salt, this ceviche is £19 but you do get a generous portion of buttery scallop. It’s our favourite starter. Please note: we do not count oysters as a starter, they are their own headliner, thank you very much.
Bit of a freak show, in a good way. It’s certainly not refined but it does contain prawn oil and the brioche roll is super soft and super sweet. We’ve had better aioli but if you’re in the market for something that will make you say ‘that’s a lot of tentacle hun’, go for it.
Whole Lobster Rice
Very big, very boujie, very much costs 95 great British pounds. Technically, it’s one for sharing and as people who pride ourselves on our ‘enthusiastic appetites’, we do concede that we couldn’t eat this by ourselves in a single sitting. The manchego and porto branco keeps each return bite interesting and bonus points if you secure the crispy layer of rice at the bottom of the pan.
It makes total sense that The Official Holiday Fruit Mascot makes an appearance on Seabird’s menu. It comes loaded with honey, lime, and mint. Simple, six quid, and a sure-fire way to cleanse the palate before you commit to kissing someone with mollusc mouth.