Welcome to LN Review’s ‘Dine Riverside’ series. This focuses on London’s most recommended restaurants up and down the Thames. As with all of LN’s restaurant reviews you’ll get a score on price, location and vibe. Our first in the series is bar and restaurant combo, the Oyster Shed: located under Nomura, it’s relatively hidden unless you know where to find it. A well hidden treasure for something that’s located right on the doorstep of the Thames.
The Oyster Shed, London EC4R 3AB
Oh my god, the décor! They’ve really not missed a detail here at the Oyster Shed, it really is a beautifully designed space. Everything follows their quaint, maritime theme even as you go ‘below deck’ to their toilets. I’d say its ‘Ship Ahoy’ meets ‘plush vintage sofas’ and I have to say, it’s works!
I know you’ve been wondering, yes! They do have oysters on the menu! Don’t let this con you into thinking this is a seafood specialist restaurant with a menu consisting of nothing but acquired tastes. They have everything from pub classics, to seafood delights and my personal favourite: their sharing boards. The first time I went, I think three of us ordered a couple and we were full! Mezze-mania!
I think this is basically a given for anything that’s in my ‘Dine Riverside’ collection but the Oyster Shed is blessed to be opposite the Shard. On a clear evening you can watch dusk settle and you get a wonderful view of some of London’s landmarks light up on the river – Southwark Cathedral and Tower Bridge are also in plain sight! Points for romantic scenery definitely.
I’ve never tried this but I did take a little peak at some of their private party rooms and I imagine it would be lovely as the Oyster Shed has such a thematic and characterful interior. You can even choose from their private rooms by their ship-themed names: the Stern, the Helm and the Captain’s table, all with a different seating capacity. So whether you want an intimate party with cosy sofas and rustic wooden tables or something bold that takes over the whole of the first floor, the choice is great. Anything from birthday parties to weddings, I can imagine you’d get a fantastic sea-themed event here!
Warning: don’t go on a Friday
Unfortunately, I could say the same for many places in central London that are usually nice during the week. I might have just had a one off bad experience and I really hope that’s the case as I love this restaurant so much. I tried to take my boyfriend here on a spontaneous Friday night date during the summer months and it was a complete disaster. We arrived at around 9pm (for London, not late) and the lovely restaurant I remembered previously was basically a hole of drunken office workers clearly drowning their weekly sorrows. The whole of the outside area was littered with broken wine and pint glasses, and when we got inside it was so loud I couldn’t even hear myself speak! We didn’t even sit down…
The Oyster Shed Evaluation
Price: ££ That’s means expensive, but normal for central London!
Location: **** Nice and central, tricky without directions!
Vibe: *** I’d love to give this more stars but that Friday night was a disaster