14th November 2017 6.30pm
A group of us had been eagerly awaiting the opening of the White Horse Oyster and Seafood Bar and we took the opportunity of a friend’s birthday to visit. It’s a long and thin restaurant, decorated in dark wood but has a sophisticated yet relaxed feel. We were greeted by our server, who frankly was delightful and knowledgeable throughout. We ordered some drinks and perused the menu. There were a host of small plates, platters and mains. We decided to order a host of small plates between us as well as a platter.
The small plates arrived and took over the table. We had two crab scotch eggs, crab fries, monkfish satay and crispy chilli squid. We had half a scotch egg each. We all thought they were incredibly tasty, although lacking a little bit of a runny yolk but the egg certainly wasn’t over done. The crab fries were a big hit. The fries were seasoned well and the slightly sweet crab meat voluminously perched on top. The pickled samphire added a lovely complimentary element. My favourite, the monkfish satay, came on metal skewers and was generous in portion. The satay had a bit of a kick, which was a pleasant surprise and the fish was cooked to perfection. The crispy chilli squid rounded off the small plates, with an accompanying ponzu dressing and wasabi mayo, the latter of which I couldn’t get enough of. Delicious!
The house platter then arrived. This was an impressive display. Admittedly, this had more oysters on than we were expecting (12 to be precise), so if you are not a big fan, one of the other platters may be more suitable. The oysters came with an assortments of dressings, including something which was incredibly hot, so you could have them how you wanted. We all tucked in, although it took one of the party a bit of encouragement before she had one. They were incredibly fresh and slide down very easily. On the upper tier of the platter, there was a host of delights. The tuna tartare was exceptional and using some of the wasabi mayo on top was a beautiful thing. The scotch bonnet salmon was also a hit with the table. More crab was available through both a dressed crab and crab claws, and on top of that were the amazing pickled mussels and clams, which were somehow sweet in their pickling and were a joy to eat. Additional to this was some chunky bread which also got the thumbs up. One of the group also ordered a side of hassleback potatoes which I didn’t try but were deemed to be excellent.
As seafood is relatively light, we had a little bit of space for dessert. I chose the chocolate delice, two friends shared the apple tart and one chose a scoop of the salted caramel ice cream with an espresso martini on the side. The chocolate in the delice was deep and delicious. Ice cream and berries on the side helped cut through the richness. My friends were raving about the apple tart and the ice cream was also massively enjoyed. The only complaint was that the espresso martini was too cold.
We loved our visit here. Our server made us feel incredibly welcome and wished our friend a happy birthday not only at the mention of the birthday but also as we left. We felt valued as customers, which in combination with the food means that we are very likely to return.
Food – 9/10
Service – 10/10
Atmosphere – 10/10
Value – 9/10
Overall – 38/40
Would I eat here again? Yes, definitely.
Cost £200 for 5 small plates, the house platter, three desserts, two cocktails, two bottles of wine and a sherry.