Bonnie Gull is a cosy little hideout just off Great Portland Street, and serves up unpretentious and delicious seafood from different parts of Britain. Their website states that the founders were inspired by “unassuming” seafood restaurants in British coastal towns, and I think that the interior of Bonnie Gull really hits the nail on the head with its laid-back, nautical theme. It really feels like you’ve been transported to a tiny seafood shack by the seaside, with its rope and wood decor throughout.
The menu changes daily depending on the seafood that they’ve sourced that day.
First up came the Dorset Palourde Clams “Bulhão Puto”. Named after a famous Portuguese poet, these clams were drenched in a white wine, olive oil and cilantro sauce. The clams were juicy and succulent, and the sauce was great for dipping!
Next was the Scottish Langoustine & Dorset Crab Bisque, served with croutons and a quenelle of chive cream. This was delicious- I normally don’t like bisque as I find it quite fishy tasting but the flavours in this were perfect- so creamy and decadent but not overly so, and the little bits of crunchy crouton added some bite to the soup.
For our last starter, we had the Dorset White Crab, Pickled Pear, Celeriac & Apple Remoulade, Kohlrabi . This was like an elevated céleri rémoulade, and the sweetness of the crab and pear contrasted deliciously with the tart apple, crunchy kohlrabi and creamy remoulade. The dish was also served super cold which I really enjoyed, as I really dislike lukewarm salads.
Afterwards came the mains: first up, the Newlyn Hake, Amaretto & Pumpkin Broth, Squash, Rainbow Chard, Pickled Cockles, Pine Nut Crumble. This was absolutely delicious!! The soup was light and uniquely sweet because of the pumpkin and amaretto, and matched the savoury and mild-tasting hake. The texture of the hake was really nice and flaky, and paired with the pine nut crumble and soft, juicy cockles, made for a sumptuous treat.
For our second main, we had the Newhaven John Dory with Jerusalem Artichoke Purée, Boudin Blanc, Coco Beans and Chervil Velouté. Compared to the hake, this fish had a more velvety texture, which went really well with the buttery coco beans (not to be confused with cocoa beans). The Boudin blanc (sausage) had a unique texture and flavour- initially, we thought it was a fishcake!
For dessert, I had a beautifully presented English strawberry Eton mess with popping candy and basil jelly. Every bite was a burst of flavours- the chewy yet crisp meringue, cream, sweet strawberries, fizzy candy and fragrant basil made for a wonderful dessert and end to my meal.
Although I didn’t have any oysters, I couldn’t help but take this Bonnie Gull “Oyster Card” home as a little souvenir- isn’t it cute? 😀 It’s basically a loyalty card for oyster platters, buy 6 and get 1 free.
To conclude, I had a great meal at Bonnie Gull- service was attentive, and the ambience was warm and comfortable (I think it would be perfect for a date!). One tip would be to book a table online, because when we left at around 7.30pm the tables started getting really full- so if you’re going to walk in without a booking, go early.
(Sorry for the terrible quality of the photos- the lighting wasn’t the best for taking pictures, and to make things worse I used my phone!)
21A Foley St,