For those of you who know us, we kind of like Oysters.
It does sometimes seem strange being able to choose from 4 different types of fresh Oyster in the middle of Bristol, rather than being on the coast, but when asked why we do, the easiest answer is ‘because we can!’ Some say ‘Oysters are like marmite, you either love them or hate them’.
For those who think they hate them, we would always ask for one last chance at preparing them the way you might like, so we can perhaps delight you too, we almost always have a choice, and we love to share. For those who love them, come fill boots comes to mind.
Whether they are naturally served on ice with classic shallot vinaigrette & tabasco, deep fried in golden breadcrumbs with tartare sauce or grilled over our Josper fire Kilpatrick style, (all available at the Spiny), we believe they are the perfect start to any seafood indulgent meal.
When English oysters are in season, some of the best places to eat them are along the UK’s coastline.
Some of our favourite oyster destinations are Morecombe bay, River Yealm, Lindisfarne, Porlock and many more. The English coast, washed by cold waters and dotted with shallow bays and inlets, is ideal for oyster beds, both natural and farmed, and the fishermen tell us that one of the few benefits of the lockdowns is the massive reduction in pollution, which has led to incredibly clean seas, fish in the best condition they have ever seen, and perfect oysters!
Carlingford provide us with the finest Irish Oysters, the Cumbre’s from Scotland are also utterly mouth watering and leave you wanting just a couple or ten more.
Our favourite and most popular oysters come from Menai Straits in North Wales from the body of the water that separates Wales and Anglesey. This oyster farm sits directly opposite Caernarfon castle and serves us the most silky, earthy, plump oysters our good friend Shaun who owns the farm can get for us.
In the autumn and winter months, native oysters are widely available. In some parts of England where non-native Pacific and rock oysters are farmed, they’re available throughout the year, so they will always be part of who we are.
Did we say throughout the year? What about only eating oysters in months with an “R” in their name? For years people have believed oysters are unsafe to eat in May, June, July and August, but sad to share with you that this is actually a myth. Nowadays, raw oysters that are properly kept and served promptly on ice can be eaten all throughout the year.
Here at Spiny we serve our oysters individual so you can have as many or little as you like. If you have never tried one before, here is the place to do it.
Or, why not treat your self to that cosy night in with a selection from our fishmongers, just ask Barney in the shop for one of our Oyster shucking knives and watch Chef Angus on this how to video show you how its done, so you can confidently enjoy them in the comfort of your own kitchen. If we told you that Emma and Charlie secretly enjoy an oyster with a small glass of champagne every Saturday morning before service you might see why Saturdays is their favourite day of the week. That and the joy of being open now with a full restaurant!!
So why not pop in to the restaurant or the shop and give them a try, join in with the chilled champagne of white wine, indulge in authentic, freshest bivalves, and let us know what you think.