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How (And Where) To Eat Native Lobster In The UK

April 2017Words by Mr Tom M Ford

Live lobsters at the J Sheekey Atlantic Bar. Photograph by Mr Paul Winch-Furness, courtesy of J Sheekey

As the weather warms up, our eating habits start to change, and we look to lighter morsels that complement the spring weather. Fresh seafood, therefore, is never far from our minds – or, should we say, plates. And, if you’re a Londoner, you will know that J Sheekey is one of the best places in the capital to get it. The restaurant opened its doors in 1896, when market-stall owner Mr Josef Sheekey was first granted permission to do so by former Prime Minister Lord Salisbury. Since then, it has become a bit of an institution ­– a go-to for leisurely lunches, pre-theatre bivalves, and its now-famous fish pie. Although it will always have an air of old glamour about it – the white tablecloths, the silverware, the black-and-white pictures on the wall – its revamp last year, which welcomed the Atlantic Bar next door (formerly the Oyster Bar), a new lobster section to the menu and a summer terrace, shows it is keeping up with the times.

Mr Andy McLay. Photograph by Mr Sim Canetty-Clarke, ccourtesy of J Sheekey

Since we are approaching prime native lobster season, we thought we would ask J Sheekey’s executive chef Mr Andy McLay how to get the most out of this precious crustacean. Here are his thoughts on where to get it, how to eat it, and what to drink with it.