I said yesterday that I would let you know how I got on at The Oyster Box today. This was a mere platitude. A verbal tick. I had no intention of actually doing so. Two blogs in two days is nerdy. And needy. I would normally have just moved on, written a new blog next week about my extensive charity work or similar and on with life we all would have got.
But Christ on a bike I had a nice time. What a perfect restaurant The Oyster Box is. It made me happy. Happier than any restaurant has done in a long while. To sit outside, overlooking St Brelade’s magnificent beach, glass of Macon Lugny in hand, salty breeze in your hair and the promise of oysters, whole Chancre crab and lemon sole on the bone is to quite simply be happy. It was so refreshing after the weird fusion nonsense to just have gleaming fresh sea food, Jersey Royals and green beans.
I hate doing restaurant reviews, as I have mentioned before, but I felt compelled to write a quick something because it was so good. And not just the normal stuff, like food and wine and service. It is more than that. It is a restaurant that is perfectly of its time and of its habitat. It fits. Bleached wood furniture, bring to mind the driftwood, yards away on the beach, the design is sympathetic to the surrounds- you can walk straight past without even noticing that it is there. Inside you feel like you are on a wonderful boat, airy and bright with wonderful views of the shimmering sea. The toilets received comments from all of us, so perfect and granite-y were they.
Service is charming from pretty people, wine list is small but perfectly formed and a plate of oysters were a revelation, even for this oyster officianado…. tiny little things they were- no larger than a postage stamp, but so salty and sweet and of the sea that it they felt like big ones, but reduced and thus intensified. Chancre crab was the size of a rugby ball, cracking the shell, sucking the succulent flesh from the legs is surely one of lifes great gastronomic pleasures, brown meat sweet and rich as toffee and iodine fresh white….. stunning, and another reminder if one were needed that it is crab, and not the more expensive lobster that is the King of crustacea.
Lemon sole was so moist and flavourful as to require some kind of license and I sucked the bones of flesh in despair that it had gone so soon. With a few end of season Jersey’s this is wonderful, wonderful fare and once again I sat and cursed my chef-kind for the countless crimes against ingredients that we perpetuate on a daily business. I could weep. I really could. Just leave well alone. Me included. I am learning. With every meal that I eat, like my lunch an hour ago, I am more resolute in my belief that less is more. That nature beats chef at every step of the way.
That is all I have to say about the Oyster Box. I cannot fault it. I have no funny, cynical, snidey, big city put downs. I just loved it. You should go there. Its a 10. A perfect 10.