I’ve never really got the whole oysters and romance thing. This potentially stems from a rather scarring experience in Paris involving a few too many bivalves, a two-day stint of norovirus, a couple of buckets by the bed and a very sick boyfriend. (Needless to say, we broke up). But The Bloody Oyster pop-up are changing the way we think about shellfish. They’re a no-fuss kind of affair: no pretensions; no eye-watering bill at the end of the meal and absolutely no bad dates. Just a bloody big red bus. And some seriously good vibes.
After a successful crowd-funding campaign last year, fun foodie duo Ben and Ed set out to take the oyster back to its humble roots, converting a 1980s double decker red bus into a mobile oyster and Bloody Mary den. The result? Probably the coolest pop-up in London at the moment.
After a brief tour of the summer festivals, the Bloody Oyster is currently parked on the Southbank. Set back from the traipsing tourists and chain restaurants, they’ve created their own little chill-out Haven, where you can relax on the sofas outside the bus, go top-deck for a candle-lit dining experience or recline at the back of the bus bar like the baddest bitches at school.
So what’s on the menu? Well, oysters obviously – but not like you’ve ever had them before. They come naked, dressed, deep fried, grilled and thrown in a tasty brioche burger. If you’re a bit wary of raw shellfish, try the tempura oysters with curry coconut cream – they melt in your mouth and lack the saline burst that can throw some people off. Alternatively, if you love a big smooch with the sea, then the dressed ceviche oysters will take you to salt-water ecstasy.
And if oysters aren’t your thing? There’s a few non-shellfish options on the menu too (the garlic fries are sublime) but the expertly curated cocktail menu makes it well-worth a visit alone. Bloody Marys come in all different flavours: from the Classic to the unbelievable ‘Maria’, a tequila-based mix of tomato juice, rosemary smoke with a sherry float. It will cure even the most persistent of hangovers – and then some.
With Lauryn Hill playing on the speakers and flickering candles when the sun goes down, The Bloody Oyster is the perfect hangout – come day or night, dates or mates. It won’t break the bank either, especially because the boys have teamed up with events discovery app Fever, bringing you 2 naked oysters and 2 cocktails for only £15 today and tomorrow! With the sun shining for a limited time only (and by limited, we mean roughly 12 more hours), Secret London just fixed your Friday after-work plans. You can thank us later.
The Bloody Oyster will be parked on the Southbank until the end of September. After a brief hibernation, the boys will then return to the Southbank for the Christmas Market, with a slightly smaller menu and some hot Bloody Marys. (Think soup – then it all makes sense).
For more information, see their website.