Wright Brothers (August 2013)

I knew I had heard the name Wright Brothers (beyond clearly the famous aviation pair) somewhere and it was an unexpected pleasure to lunch recently at their Soho restaurant. Their original success stems from the siblings’ iconic establishment in Borough Market and the enterprise now comprises not only this venture and the one in Soho, but also a pub in Cornwall and a catering business. The concept is not complicated: put simply, high quality traditional seafood. There is a strong emphasis on the freshest ingredients and British produce – both clear positives in my view. The restaurant is not explicitly showy or trendy, but it doesn’t need to be: the food is excellently prepared, the atmosphere relaxed and the service efficiently friendly. We sat at their terrace at the back, perfect for a late summer lunchtime, and although we arrived promptly (at 12.15), many tables were reserved and the place soon filled up, encouraging signs. The menu changes daily and comprises shellfish (priced from £2.50), oysters (from £5, for three) and a range of starters and mains. Both my comrade and I were tempted by the whole roast Cornish place, served with confit garlic, celeriac and pancetta. This was accompanied by a side of gem salad with mustard vinaigrette. The dishes arrived promptly and the fish was just perfect, fresh and juicy, as if from the sea, lightly scented with oil and lemon and combined with some well thought-through ingredients. Celeriac may have become increasingly ubiquitous on the London dining scene this summer, but it did work with this dish. Even the salad, where restaurants often fail, was presented well and clearly prepared with a home-made dressing. Wines looked interesting, but we just opted for water and then finished with espressos. At around £50 for two, including service, we were happy diners and would return.