Tuesday, 10 March 2009

J Sheekey

On Sunday Sven came to visit and I took us to lunch at J Sheekey.

I’ve been wanting to pay them a visit for a number of years now but have never gotten round to it. When looking for a potential lunch spot for a Sunday, some place situated centrally and reasonably priced I found that J Sheekey fit the bill with a special weekend lunch menu of 3 courses for £24.50.

I managed to book a table with relative ease, at fairly late notice on Friday afternoon, for the coming Sunday for lunch at 2:30.

It was bucketing down when we got there and it offered a brilliant olde worldy type escape form a miserable afternoon in the city. We were seated at a cosy little table in the corner, there’s a real feeling of it being a kind of traditional club with wooden walls and framed pictures lining most of the available space. We ordered some water and were presented with the menus and some bread.

The bread was good with 2 white pieces of white baguette and 2 smaller offerings of granary. Both very nice and were accompanied by salted butter, a must in my opinion.

It was a little stuffy service wise and you feel a little like you’re being permanently watched which is annoying. I hate getting a sense of being rushed. I was told when booking that the table would be available to us until 5 and we were out way before 4 in the end.

Anyhow, we both opted for the weekend lunch menu. There are a generous 3 choices for each course, I had Mussel, Leek and Saffron soup to start which was lovely. It was poured out before my eyes from a little pot into my bowl and had a liberal serving of plump mussels and chunks of leek and a very creamy consistency. It was tasty and quite filling. I loved it but I felt rather full up from Saturdays feast so it beat me. I should perhaps have opted for the pear and endive salad to start with. Sven had Broccoli with crispy bacon and a poached egg, all of which were perfectly cooked and combined to make an interesting amalgamation of flavours. He was more than pleased to finish off my soup as well.

For main I opted for the Sheekey’s Fish Pie which was served with green beans. Again I was beaten, and again this is not a reflection on the dish, which was delightful, with its creamy parsley sauce, wonderful smokey flavour from the haddock, crispy mashed potato topping and generous filling of haddock, salmon and cod.

Sven had the shin of veal which was tender and served with spring vegetables and a nice tasty jus. This was nice but not remarkable in any way.

I have to say it was pretty much all about the dessert though, the Pavlova with blood oranges was a masterpiece. Gorgeously gooey in the centre, crisp but surrendering to the spoon on the outside with a tangy orange sauce and chunks of vibrant red orange. Topped with some crème fraiche and a few strips of candied peel each mouthful buzzed with the sugary sweetness being counteracted by the citrus.

Having expected to be wowed by the fish on offer at Sheekeys it is with surprise that I say this is the dish that will stick in my memory. And I didn’t even order it. I had only one mouthful having opted for the cheese selection. There was a soft blue, and harder manchego type piece and a creamier hard cheese. These are advertised simply as a farmhouse selection on the weekend menu and on the a la carte menu the cheese options are irish: St Gall, Crozier Blue and Gubbeen. I suspect this is what I had. They were served with some nice oaty biscuits and a quince and raisin chutney which was very good and quite spicy.

I love the idea of the set lunch menu and the way that more expensive places are accessible to all at such bargainous prices. Sheekey’s have recently revamped an area of their restaurant as an oyster bar, I would love to return in the evening and probably will at some point in the near future.

NB: Lack and poor quality of picutres due to the request that customers refrain from using mobiles or cameras in the restaurant. I tried but got some icy stares from the table of russian diners next to us! Oh well.

J Sheekey
28 St Martin's Court

J Sheekey on Urbanspoon

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