The Wright Brothers are those rarest of things: true undisputed legends in their field. Ever since Orville and Wilbur Wright successfully completed the 1901 voyage of their homemade airplane, the less than imaginatively monikered Wright Flyer, their names have been eternally inked into the annals of aviation, their legend only rising with each passing year. Indeed, it would not be too bold to posit that these men, these magnificent men in their flying machines…
What's that? This is a review of Wright Brothers, the London seafood specialists who recently opened a third outlet in the newly refurbished Battersea Power Station? But I had so many flying metaphors….!
Ben and Robin Wright started their oyster merchants in 2002, a mere 101 years after the other guys did their thing. The business quickly took off, with the first restaurant opening in Borough Market three years later. Today, the Wright Brothers supply more than 500 UK restaurants, including Michelin starred chefs.
The Battersea restaurant is the largest of the three restaurants, situated bang on the river with ample space for indoor and outdoor dining. Let's dive in…
What to order?
Going to the Wright Brothers and ordering anything but seafood is akin to watching a modern production at Shakespeare's Globe: it's possible, the experience may even be very good, but it's somewhat missing the point.
There's a whole ocean of options. A few choices. The octopus is the perfect texture, soft yet firm, and comes with a delicious sauce, a mixture of sherry, almond, bread crumbs, garlic. "Like a sweet Spanish hummus," says our waiter and he's not wrong. Crab fries are exactly what they sound like and just as good.
You can’t really go wrong with lobster and fries but here it goes very, very right (or should that be Wright?), serving up one of the finest versions of that classic dish that I’ve encountered: lobster flesh glistening with garlic butter, fries crisper than a winter’s morning. The pan-seared stone bass fillet is a less decadent but equally delicious alternative.
Wash it all down with a good bottle of wine: there are plenty to choose from, with labels grouped by flavouring – always a nice touch and much appreciated by non-oenophiles. (Plus it’s much easier to blag to your date, provided you don’t let them see the wine list.) We ordered a Muscadet that couldn’t have complimented the meal better had it attended finishing school.
What’s the damage?
Prices are far from sky high but nor could you accuse them of being low flying. Starters are generally £10 - £20, with main courses a little more eclectic: linguine will cost you £19, a whole lobster £68. Share a plate of oysters – a Wright Brothers speciality – and life starts getting interesting.
Essentially, you’ll struggle to limit the bill to under three figures and you could easily glide far beyond that marker. (£75 shellfish platter, anyone?) But there’s nothing ridiculous here: the issue is a quantity of quality. As issues goes, that isn’t a bad one to have.
Anything else to note?
The Wright Brothers also serve as an online fishmonger, delivering freshly caught seafood to your front door. Order everything from Dover Sole to fish pie and transform your fridge into Neptune’s Palace.
Why not stick on The Little Mermaid and make it a proper date night? Avert your eyes whenever Sebastian the crab appears on screen.
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26 Circus West Village Battersea Power Station, London SW11 8EZ; Wright Brothers