Wow, it's hard to start blogging again after so long of not doing it! Nothing has changed - I'm still eating at loads of new and delicious places, I'm still doing pop up supper clubs, and I'm still cooking up a storm of new recipes at home - all of which I want to share with you... but somehow, it just hasn't really happened. So here's my attempt to get back on the horse. There's a lot to catch up on, so I'll start from my most recent favourite and work my way back from there!

And by recent I mean where I ate last night, and by favourite, I mean Bucket - a new (ish) sustainable seafood place that opened in Westbourne Grove, not far from where I live. I actually first went a few weeks ago during soft launch, on my own. I sat and watched the world go by while eating an oozy, cheesy, creamy, rich lobster and prawn toastie, which was stuffed with seafood, melted cheese and thick bechamel and had been fried in butter before being devoured by me. Sheer decadence, paired with a glass of Provence rose, I knew I'd found my happy place! 

Last night I went back with Emily. We arrived to what felt like a bit of a sad scene - the beautiful restaurant - think Balaeric beach, done really nicely - was mostly empty and it was 7.45pm. But we took our seats and perused the menu while Emily sampled a chocolate bitters and PX negroni, and I used every bit of will power to order a mocktail (grapefruit juice) in light of my current "cleanse", much to Emily's disappointment. After a good 15 minutes ogling all the things on the menu we finally decided what to eat. The menu at Bucket is split into small snacks (squid ink crackers, taramasalata, seaweed crisps etc), plates - half of which are virtuous plates of raw or grilled fish, the other half less virtuous, including *that* toastie. Then there are the buckets - various sizes of deep fried seafood, and different flavours of mussels. There's also a boards section offering a half chicken, sirloin of beef or a whole seabass, and plenty of sides to choose from too. As well as weekly specials.

By the time we were ready to order we looked around to a much happier sight of a nearly full restaurant. Apparently all walk ins, which says a lot for a restaurant that's on the same road as at least 20 others places to eat. 

To start we had grilled giant squid steak with lemon puree, and tuna tartare with avocado mayonaisse. I've never had squid steak before, but it was wonderful. A thick piece of perfectly tender squid, with the smoky char from the grill on a bitter and slightly sharp puree. An absolute must order if you go to Bucket. The tuna tartare was also exquisite. Simply seasoned with salt, pepper and a drizzle of sesame oil, the freshness of the fish shone through. 

Then it was on to the buckets. We chose a small fritto misto - whitebait, prawns, calamari and courgette, with all the sauces, and a small bucket of the lobster and brandy mussels. The fritto misto was perfect - the lightest of batters clinging to perfectly cooked seafood - something that's not as easy as it sounds. In order to use sustainably sourced and certificated whitebait, it means using a larger fish than you'll find in 99% of restaurants. This in turn makes the cooking process more difficult, but Bucket have managed to get it just right, with a juicy fish cooked through in a crisp batter. The sauces that we dunked said fish into were brilliant - sriracha mayo was just the right amount of spicy, citrus mayo had lime, lemon and orange zest in it to give it a really full and balanced flavour, roasted garlic aioli was punchy enough to see off all the ghouls, and seaweed mayo had a delicious salty depth to it. 

Despite devouring all of the fritto misto, it was the mussels that really stole my heart. Again, perfectly cooked in the richest of sauces. It was like an unctuous, reduced down lobster bisque that clung to every mussel in the bucket and begged to be mopped up with the hunks of bread served alongside it. Or even with the charred bits of courgette we'd ordered as a side. Or both. Or just a spoon.... you get my drift! Bucket do three or four other varieties of mussels, none of which I've sampled yet, so I guess I'll just have to go back and work my way through them, and at around £12.50 for a small bucket, that's definitely something I can manage!

Emily also tried the lobster mac and cheese, which I'm guessing was the pasta not bread version of *that* toastie, and something I will also need to go back and try for myself.

Bucket out did itself. I'd raved about my first visit to Emily, and last night did not disappoint. It's so refreshing to have a reasonably priced, sustainable seafood restaurant in London that serves such tasty and high quality food. As it says on the menu - "there are only so many fish in the sea" and personally, I'm going to eat most of my share at Bucket from now on!


  1. I am not a fan of sea food but the way you have shown the pictures and talked about the delicious taste of everything, I think, I'am willing to give it a try myself.

    1. You should definitely check it out then! They've got such unique and interesting dishes and offering something really different to a lot of the other fish and seafood restaurants out there.



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