I have a love affair with oysters which runs deep, I’ve converted many people to their briny charms and even after a horrific bit of Christmas food poisoning I could still happily gulp down a dozen, down the hatch, no problem.
My recently documented trip to Canary Wharf was an invite from Boisdale to celebrate the results from the Boisdale & Wright Brothers Oyster Tasting Championship. We were greeted with a platter of native and rock oysters from all around the country from Scotland’s Loch Ryan to the Duchy of Cornwall.
Oyster need to knows:
-If you’ve never had an oyster before go for a small one that isn’t too plump, it will be easier to tackle than a great beast.
-Chew or swallow? I really like oysters and if you have a slight chew all the flavours spread around your tongue. I personally think whatever makes you happy.
-I only like oysters with a squeeze of lemon and a drop of Tabasco, the lemon is fresh and works well with the salt while the Tabasco adds to the kick of downing an oyster. Horseradish and shallot vinegar to my mind just seem to overpower the flavour.
-Native or rock? Rock are the most commonly found oysters, with a teardrop shape while the slower-growing natives have a more rounded appearance. Natives usually taste more delicate and complex.
-If you can see a lot of white flesh, it can mean your oyster is pregnant, congrats! This is considered a delicacy by the French who prize the oyster milk. Of course they do.
After the oysters we were served a delicious saddle of rabbit with foie gras, black truffles and chestnut velouté.
Next up was an Aberdeenshire dry aged fillet of beef with potato purée, this was so tender and soft my mouth is watering right now just thinking about it.
Dessert was a crème caramel with chantilly and almond cookie, unctuous and soft. By this time I was lolling about in my seat dangerously close to passing out in a food coma, so I could only finish half of it.
I didn’t touch the petit fours, instead I went for a reviving cup of tea which came loose leaf and served in the same pot that they use at the Wolsey. Full marks!
If you’re into your oysters, Boisdale and Wright Brothers are have got a ‘Crazy Hour’ from 5-6pm Monday to Friday when oysters are half price. Visit Boisdale in Belgravia, Bishopsgate or Canary Wharf and Wright Brothers in Soho to get your oyster fix. There is a limit, but it’s 84 oysters per person and even I couldn’t eat that many in an hour, although I could be tempted to try.