Mayfair is still reeling from ongoing Covid restrictions – a stroll down the once-thriving Bond Street will confirm that – but there are reasons to venture back. One of them is new seafood restaurant SeaSons – see what they did there? – a classically stylish Mayfair dining experience with no meat on the menu whatsoever.
What is it?
Located on Bruton Street, right in the bouji heart of Mayfair, SeaSons occupies the space once housing the beloved The Square (whose legacy was only slightly soured by its mid-service bankruptcy and the subsequent tribunals from unpaid staff). SeaSons is the new flagship venue from a restaurant group with bistros in Chelsea, Notting Hill, Bayswater, Kensington and Fitzrovia, as well as soon-to-open restaurants in New York and Miami. It’s keen to stress its seasonal – SeaSonal? – and sustainable credentials, with the Mediterranean menu made up of fish caught in British seas (mostly Kent and Cornwall), and the veg and dairy brought in from top farms in the vicinity of the capital.
The kitchen is headed up by Francesco Scala, whose CV includes stints in Sardinia and Qatar.
What’s the vibe?
There is absolutely no mistaking that you’re in Mayfair – while the brand’s other venues are rustic affairs, the flagship is expensive in every conceivable way. You pass under an impressive octopus as you enter and a shoal of fish swimming overhead lead you from the door, through a plush dining room and up to an open fish counter. While the furniture is largely drawn from a palette of greys and blacks, things are brightened by attention-grabbing art reminiscent of the new LPM a few minutes down the road.
And the food?
You know what you’re in for when you come to a restaurant run by a group that also functions as a fishmongers through its other smaller sites. As mentioned, there’s no meat at all on the menu, which is split into sections such as “oysters”, “caviar”, “raw fish” and “lobster”. There are also a selection of pizzas and pasta – both seafood-based and otherwise – which broadens the appeal, although I stuck firmly to the frutti del mare.
We started with a round of mixed oysters (£32), which were delicious in the way oysters are, followed by red prawn carpaccio (£43) from the raw menu, which was as exquisitely creamy as you would hope from these incredible crustaceans, although I could probably have done without the gold leaf. We got a huge basket of deep fried squid (£20), which was great – not too chewy, not too greasy – but rather excessive given there were still two hefty mains to follow.
Those were a tremendous fist-sized slab of monk fish with mango and pomegranate salsa (£39) and the pièce de résistance: a heaving shellfish mixed grill (£61), including lobster, squid, langoustine, octopus and various other spiny denizens of the ocean.
Writing about shellfish is tricky, because when done well, it tastes of shellfish – it’s produce that doesn’t require a fluffer to perform. And at SeaSons, it’s done well.
Those totting up the prices as you went along will already have realised that this is not a cheap restaurant by any standard, but it sells lobster in the middle of Mayfair so what did you expect?
Need to know:
SeaSons is open seven days a week from noon till late. To book a table go to seasonsdream.com, call 020 3307 6565 or visit them at 6-10 Bruton St, Mayfair, W1J 6PU.