There’s no getting away from the name Sexy Fish – it’s pretty garish. But then again, it’s the new restaurant from Richard Caring (The Ivy, Scott’s, J Sheekey et al) so a bit of opulent flamboyance is to be expected.
The dining room is exactly that – times ten. A bar, top and tailed with Damien Hirst mermaids, a wall with cascading water, salmon banquettes, staff wearing jazzy jackets (some velour), an open kitchen next to a display of fish on ice; the whole thing is big and brash but quite simply stunning.
The menu is predominantly seafood with an Asian twang. We started with an octopus carpaccio (£12.50) and a tartare of tuna belly (£16.25), both seemingly simple but perfectly executed.
Smoked eel with a barbecue glaze topped with shavings of frozen foie gras (£12.50) was one of the best things I’ve eaten in a long time. Who knew cold smoked eel could be so delicious?
Seared yellowfin tuna (£16.75) brought our raw fish extravaganza to a close (we’d ordered so much of it as mid-service half the stoves went down, which must have been fun for the chefs!). It was nice to see good food well perfect without any silly gimmicks or theatrics.
Skewers were next; duck hearts (£4), all plump and juicy, and pork belly (£4.50), fatty and sweet from its maple glaze, showed that it wasn’t just all about the fish.
From the Robata grill, the miso glazed Chilean sea bass (£30) was like a sirloin steak; thick and meaty with a crispy layer of fat running across the edge which was heavenly.
If that wasn’t enough to get one going, then the puddings certainly were. A four chocolate fondant was the finest fondant you’re ever likely to find; it didn’t just ooze from the centre, it gushed, with sauce so chocolatey yet not in the least bit sickly. And a chocolate tofu mousse was the perfect balance of light and rich.
Sexy Fish is no cheap affair but in terms of the food, the service, the room – they’ve got it bang on the money. The sheer extravagance of it all makes it a thoroughly exciting place to be. Don’t let the name put you off…
We dined as guests of the restaurant.