There are always new bits and pieces popping up on the South Bank, Bleecker St Burgers is present and correct (thank God), the Snog bus is still there in all it’s highlighter-pink glory, but the best I’ve been to lately is The Bloody Oyster! Its a converted vintage double decker, crowd-funded to serve oysters, cocktails and bloody Marys to the wanderers of the South Bank, complete with old piano named Pearl. So far so hipster. But the quality of the ingredients, the friendliness of owners Ben and Ed and the general unpretentiousness of it all is incredibly lovely.
They serve the oysters in many guises, raw and naked, tempura’d, in a burger – whatever you want. We went for 6 naked with one of each of the dressings, which are both delicious – your traditional shallot vinegar and a lighter pickled cucumber version.
The oysters are fat, meaty and fresh – the salty juices burst into your mouth and remind you of holidays, Southend and fancy restaurants all at the same time, and they’re addictive – I could’ve had 6 more. But the reason I’d go back is undoubtedly the beverage option – my bloody Mary was sent from heaven. It had exactly the right amount of salty Worcester sauce (served in a little pippet, which I forgave), with strong tomato that wasn’t bitter, and the right amount of heat. The vodka had been muddled with cucumber I think, which made it really fresh.
There are lots of bloody Mary varieties to choose from, and other cocktails too – I had a hair appointment at 2 otherwise I’m sure we would’ve sat there all afternoon sampling the lot.
The Bloody Oyster is on the South Bank next to Royal Festival Hall until the end of the month so shimmy on down there and make the most of it.