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The Bloody Oyster review

August 26, 2014

LifestyleRestaurants & Bars | by Vicky Ilankovan

Screen Shot 2014-08-26 at 17.11.13Public transport, Bloody Marys and Molluscs: those are three things that fit perfectly together, right?

Well, they certainly do at The Bloody Oyster, the crowd-funded brainchild of friendly foodie friends Ben and Ed which brings oysters to the people in the back of a converted London double-decker bus.

The Bloody Oyster aims to bring oysters away from pretension and back to their humble roots when they were once a poor man’s dish served with a pint of stout. However, the duo have updated the meal considerably, setting aside the pint of bitter in favour of an expertly-crafted cocktail menu – heavy on the Bloody Mary adaptations – fashioned by their ‘cocktail guru’ Iain McPherson.

ad5cc5cd27d8f02cadb4ccf1a137a046The Classic Bloody with its muddled cucumber and cheeky nod at the traditional pint with a well-placed pipette of Windrush Stout, is powerfully-flavoured and a must-try for Bloody Mary newbies and aficionados alike, whilst the Red Snapper with its gin, kaffir lime and basil is a completely different story: gentler, more fragrant and a Candid favourite.

The oysters themselves – all sourced locally from farms in the UK –­ come naked, dressed, boiled, grilled, BBQ’d and deep-fried in a variety of dishes, all garnished with beautifully-partnered ingredients and remaining fantastically well-priced.

The Bloody Mary dressing is robust yet creamy, combining smoked Bloody Mary foam, pickled cucumber and finished with bacon powder which tempers the Tabasco aftertaste with a smoky sweetness. The Ceviche is lighter, fresher and more delicate on the palate, the avocado and tomato working well with the citrus and coriander.
For those less sure about the textural quality of fresh oysters, the Po’ Boy Burgers – a take on the New Orleans classic, deep-fried oyster – are a definite must. The oysters become delicate and flaky when fried and are off-set by the celeriac and caper remoulade, Tabasco mayonnaise, pickle and brioche bun.

As a newcomer to oysters, The Pearl Jam option on the menu is definitely appealing, allowing you to try not only a Po’ Boy slider but also half a dozen oysters served however you like, accompanied by a side of the most moreishly addictive matchstick garlic butter chips you will ever have, on or off a bus.


The quirky venue itself, the charming staff and of course the oysters and cocktails all had us sold on The Bloody Oyster. However, at the risk of sounding overly dramatic, nothing prepared us for the dessert daily special: a peanut butter mousse with bitter chocolate ganache, salted caramel and caramelised banana. The smoothness of the mousse, the crisp shell of the banana matched with the bitter elements of smooth dark chocolate and the crunch of peanuts… All the components were there and as the light began to dim outside and flickering candles replaced overhead lights, we discovered that we had fallen in love with The Bloody Oyster and Ben and Ed’s vision.


For information on The Bloody Oyster’s current pop-up location, visit their website.


Vicky Ilankovan – Lifestyle Editor