There are a couple of ways into the restaurant - I prefer going through the customary greeting by the doorman, into the tiny lobby - but you could go in through the oyster bar if you wish. There's a teeny tiny bar which serves all manner of things in old fashioned martini glasses, and every available space is covered in photos of bygone stars...
In fact you'll invariably spot a photo you hadn't noticed before, and be whisked away on some reminiscence of the role they were playing, the production or film they were in... The restaurant is made up of a series of interconnected rooms, all crammed with little tables, all crammed with very animated diners. This is why I don't mind the brisk staff, you get the impression it's all run on a very tight and strict schedule - there's no room for dilly-dallying.
The play we had been to see, Prisoner on Second Avenue, had finished phenomenally early, and we wandered up from The Strand, thinking that we could sit in the bar until our table was ready - not a bit of it - there way a queue out of the door... We wandered off to peek into the antique print shops in the next alley, and came back at 10.15... This time we were greeted by name (so they were obviously paying attention earlier - always a good sign), and shown to the end room... I have to say I've never noticed the division of Sheekey's into the Gods and Wasteland you see in places like The Ivy... I've eaten at some point in every available table for two, four and six! Naturally the Hubby knew someone on the next table, so it was already quite late by the time we ordered.
Now, food: Sheekey's is the sister restaurant to Scotts, and so you find most of what they do here too... You can eat oysters, caviar, tons of fresh fish, the odd nod to the meat eaters, and veggies - but fish is why we're here!
As a starter I had little scallops, with crushed peas, pea shoots and crispy pancetta - absolutely yummy - one of my favourite combinations; the Hubby had devilled whitebait, which came out in a huge portion, with a serving of fresh tartare sauce to the side - he often has this - and says this is the place to eat it.
I can honestly say that I don't eat fish and chips, never have and ordinarily probably never will - but I eat it at Sheekey's and at Scotts. The haddock has a casing so crisp it shatters with your fork, and it's served with crushed minted peas and chips - delicious!
This is what the Hubby chose, and I did gaze in his direction, but he ignored my fluttering eyelashes. No matter, I had one of my other favourites - the sole served off the bone, with really good bernaise sauce. I had my usual herb green salad - can't go to a Caprice Holdings restaurant without that - and the Hubby had his parmesan courgettes.
The food was perfectly cooked: the bernaise was both unctuous and light, the sole practically melted in the mouth. The Hubby's fish and chips really did look delicious, and he tucked in with gusto. It's difficult to say much more about it, really: I have never had a bad meal at Sheekey's - I have never had any issues with the staff at Sheekey's - it's a fabulous restaurant!
If you're going to go to one of the Caprice Holdings restaurants for the food (!), it has to be Sheekeys! If you're going to celebrate your wedding anniversary, or significant birthday, it should be Scotts. If you're taking your easily impressed aunt from Blackpool, and you want to show off - may as well go to the Ivy - I don't want you cluttering up Sheekeys for the rest of us...