There are many novel solutions to the age old dilemma of fresh seafood. Wright Brothers Spitalfieds has instead opted to recreate the ocean in its basement. There is often a blank malaise that sets in at the start of a restaurant tour. It is the same one that encrusts the soul upon sitting down to a slide show of your nan’s holiday snaps. And it was the same one that we were preparing to engage as we descended into the basement of this, the newest branch of the illustrious Wright Brothers franchise. The door was opened to what we assumed was a private dining room and our malaise dropped as fast as our jaws. A gargantuan machine fills the cooly lit room and whirs gently against the sound of rippling water, we half expected Doc Brown to pop out from behind it with a squid in between his teeth. This machine recreates the exact attributes found in the oceans from which the seafood is plucked. More impressive still, the restaurant does not even advertise the existence of this stellar piece of kit. It is from these moral high-grounds that they look out amongst their competition with increasing distinction; because this is as fresh as seafood can taste. Despite this the kitchen does not rest on its laurels. The fried stuffed olive, a lowly bar snack, even found a comfy spot amongst the Observer Food Monthly’s top 50 (no. 43). Then there’s the monkfish liver, which has been humbling all of our meals since. The menu is designed to be picked at slowly and, unlike other branches of the family, the atmosphere encourages it. There is none of the hustle bustle of the Borough outpost. In it’s place is a relaxed and Continental approach to the service and the food… even if we suspect them of hiding a flux capacitor in their basement.
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