It was the lovely Debbie Archer’s birthday and they kindly invited me along to join in the celebrations at the one and only J Sheekey fish restaurant (normally referred to as Sheekeys). For those who aren’t familiar with Sheekeys it is a well known seafood and fish restaurant which was opened in 1896 by Josef Sheekey who was a fish seller in the local market. It now sits within the Caprice Holdings group who also own The Ivy, Scotts, Bamb-bou (which you may have read my previous visit there) so as you can see it is up there with the greats.
It traditionally began life as an oyster bar but has since expanded with a cosy art deco restaurant. It has two types of clientele, the elderly regulars (my grandad probably being one of them) and the younger well dressed generation who enjoy seafood and champagne, you could spend hours observing their conversations and mannerisms.
There’s one thing that you just can’t resist having when you come to Sheekeys and that’s the Dublin Bay Prawns which come with a lovely creamy sauce. Simple yet an impressive sight and very tasty, especially when you have two platters worth between 5 of us!
Tom, ever the adventurous eater went for the huge bowl of River Exe mussels in a cider, white onion and smoked bacon sauce. They seemed to go down a treat and I’m told the remaining sauce was just as nice on it’s own as a soup.
For mains we all ended up being rather boring as there was one special dish that jumped out from the menu. This was the fillet of wild sea bass with lobster raviolo and purple sprouting broccoli. The sea bass was cooked to perfection as you would expect but the raviolo (one piece) and broccoli fell a little short in completing the dish. In hindsight the best dishes from Sheekeys is normally the market fish, no fuss but great fresh fish which is always ever so soft and falls off the bone.
Pudding was lovely, large family favourites which for myself was the hazelnut praline tart with salt caramel ice cream. Very tasty and perfect for a cold winter’s evening.
Tom had gone for the Christmas pudding soufflé which just the smells put you in the festive mood.
It was yet another wonderful Archers meal and look out for those regulars who come in for their oysters or huge plateau de fruits de mar that we saw a trio had ordered – impressive eating!