Going to J Sheekeys for their fruits de mer platter is for me the equivalent of walking into a spa. A brief respite of pure unadulterated luxury, a heady healthy hit that generally goes a long way towards improving my state of mind. The definition of a treat in other words.
It hasn't changed here in years, an I mean that in a very good way. Nicco Polo and I settle into a luxurious banquette with a self-satisfied sigh entirely at evens with the surroundings. Acres of luxurious linen cloths, a friendly and superbly well drilled FOH team and an awesomely good selection of shellfish. Nothing else needed.
Given my frothing tone so far, I should stress that while Sheekeys is luxurious, there's nothing pretentious about it. Seeing that we were struggling and wasting time with the faff of peeling the succulent little brown shrimp, our waiter gave a handy seaside tip, pinching head and tail together to pop out the sweet, fresh goodness. If I were a newbie contemplating attacking a platter, then this level of thoughtfulness would be even more appreciated.
If there's something vaguely erotic about the eating of an oyster, then fruits de mer is the culinary equivalent of no holds barred, hanging from the lampshade sex with a fruity, nubile and entirely innapropriate ex. A plethora of succulent, juicy little nubbins, blushing creamy pink morsels and taut sinews, each begging to be sampled next. Like the aforementioned illicit tryst, there's a wild menu of differnt styles, types and positions, everyone has their favourites and it's all so borderline lewd that nobody wants to imagine their parents at it.
After that, an ice cold buttery white wine and something to mop up the juices (see, I said you didn't want to imagine your parents at it...) we collapse back into the banquette. Perfect, absolutely perfect.