14 | Aug | 13

Richard Johnson

The Next Generation?

I used to be a restaurant critic at the Independent. Best job in the world — but all good things must come to an end. And after all those years of eating out on someone else’s money, whenever I was asked to list my favourite restaurants, J Sheekey was right up there. As old-school as ever, and all the more charming for it, it still manages to woo London with its theatrical buzz…and its way with seafood. So the restaurant’s arrival on the street food stage at the Wilderness Festival last weekend left me conflicted. Corporate? Yes. But amazing? Quite probably.

Matt Peat, Director of Urban Caprice, was the man behind the decision to take the brand to Wilderness Festival. “Our Covent Garden restaurant, J Sheekey, has played a key role London’s society since 1896 and, bizarrely, started life as an oyster cart in Shepherd’s market; so, bringing the brand to Wilderness feels like we have come full circle.  People trust the Sheekey name, and know that we serve high quality food.

“It has been cherished by theatre lovers and actors for over a century and fish & chips is one of most popular dishes on the menu (as it is in our sister restaurants – The Ivy, Le Caprice, Rivington Grill and Scott’s). Since fish & chips is such a great tradition in Britain (popular here since the 1860s), for us it was the obvious choice to take to the Wilderness fans.” Mark Hix is into street food with Fish Dogs. So is Jun Tanaka with Street Kitchen. So is this the beginning of the end? Or a sign of street food growing up? Answers below please…