Alex Hunter & Danny Clancy [Bonnie Gull]
It’s safe to say Alex Hunter and Danny Clancy love British seafood. After being disenchanted by the ‘stuffy’ seafood offering in London they put their heads together to create something stripped back and simple. Inspired by the unassuming restaurants of British coastal towns, they kicked off their own pop-up in an old Hackney pie n’ mash shop and by 2012 they had a permanent home on Foley Street in Fitzrovia, the aptly named Bonnie Gull Seafood Shack. Fish aplenty and four years on these gents have just opened a second installment in Soho. Safe to say it’s another treat for us lucky Londoners. We ran the Big Ten past the boys and here are the results.
Tell us a little more about how you prepared for the launch of Bonnie Gull Soho?
We generally gorged ourselves on seafood around the coast of the UK! We took inspiration from many different places but at the forefront was staying true to our brand principles: fresh, sustainable, British day-boat fish and seafood.
What variables played a part in your location choice?
We always wanted to open a restaurant in Soho and when this amazing little site came available I did everything in my power to get it. We love the buzz of Soho – it’s a unique blend of up-market and down-market all mixed in next to each other but somehow finding a great balance. Bateman St is the link between Frith St and Greek St which are packed with great restaurants so we’re in good company. We also like that it’s walking distance to our Fitzrovia restaurant which is often over-booked so it gives us a good option to send customers to when we’re full there.
What would you say your specialty offering is at Bonnie Gull Soho?
It’s the freshest seafood in London. Our produce comes mainly from small day-boat suppliers around the country offering a great range of products and a celebration of the best of British seafood.
If you had to advise us on a few dishes to try, which direction would you point us in?
Or menu changes daily based on the catch but there are some dishes that will be fairly regular. Check out the ‘Squid Toast’, wild Hayle mussels cooked over coals and one of our whole sharing fish dishes cooked on the wood grill such as Looe monkfish tail with smoked anchovy butter.
Tell us a little more about sourcing your produce…
We juggle about 12 different seafood suppliers to ensure we get the best product from the best people at the best price. We like to champion small companies and often deal directly with fishermen. Sustainability is important to us also.
What’s been your favourite opening in London this year?
If you could see more of one thing in London what would it be?
Sunshine. An eternal summer would be nice for Bonnie Gull and everyone else for that matter.
If some out-of-towners were visiting for the weekend where would you take them?
Ronnie Scott’s for amazing jazz and some great whisky, Le Bab for a kebab like no other and St Paul’s Cathedral because it’s just the greatest building in London.
Late night watering holes are few and far between nowadays, where would you go for one too many?
Why is London the greatest city in the world?
Because no other city in the world can blend old and new and make it work so well. London is equally rich in history and innovation and multi-culturalism is to thank for much of it.
Bonnie Gull Soho is now open on Bateman Street in Soho, unsure of where that is? Get yourself over to our Just Opened Map listing the latest and greatest restaurants in London.