So apparently, according to a popular weekday morning lifestyle TV programme (bet you can’t guess which one I am talking about), yesterday was national oyster day, who knew! I didn’t! But is anyone surprised as there seems to be a national day for everything now. Doughnut day and peanut butter day are my particular favourites. And don’t get me started on national pie week! *insert dribble emoji here*
Anyway, oyster day inspired me for this type-fest.
I won’t lie, oysters have never massively tempted me. They look a bit slimy, and generally, you pick them up via their beautiful shells, and swallow them whole. No chew – just down they go! The only part that has ever taken my fancy surrounding oysters is that you see them paired with a glass of champagne. Brilliant idea – just give me the bottle! But a deep fried oyster? I am all ears, because anything deep fried is a winner, right?
When learning of oyster day yesterday, I instantly remembered the first time (or what I thought was the first time) I tasted a deep fried oyster in 2018 at ‘Paul Ainsworth at No6’. Padstow strikes again! However, when going back through my photos, I spotted the real first deep fried oyster from 2017 at ‘Nathan Outlaw The Restaurant at The Capital’. These are the only two oysters I have ever eaten (the thought of swallowing one in its natural state still creeps me out), but they were both part of two unbelievable Michelin star experiences, which will have pride of place in future blog posts as they both deserve their own special mention!
The first oyster at Nathan Outlaw’s was part of a dish which formed a seven course tasting menu. On paper, the dish sounded amazing and put together ingredients which baffled my new foodie learning brain. As well as the oyster itself, the equal star of the plate was a beautiful piece of white fish, speckled with lime vest, and both were sitting on a creamy blanket of lime hollandaise sauce. The opaque fish was soft and still holding together, and with the crunch of the oyster and zing of two variations of lime, an absolute plate party.
The second oyster at Paul Ainsworth’s was the star in its own right. It kicked off a ridiculous menu in total deep fried style. An oyster that stood all on its own looking down at all the other oysters like a king. Beautifully placed on top of beach pebbles within it’s pristine shell, a king it sure was.
On both occasions, the deep fried oyster was not what I expected. Visually, smaller than I expected, but this was real life sat at tables in fish specialist restaurants with the oyster right in front of me, and not me on the sofa watching yet another food based programme! The coatings looked super crunchy and really inviting, so the only thing to do was to bite into them and give them a taste. Not slimy – what a relief! In fact, a really soft texture, and being surrounded by that golden, crunchy crumb jacket, a match made in deep fried heaven!
You’ll be pleased to know, prosecco bubbles (yes, I am one of those prosecco girls) were very much enjoyed on both deep fried oyster experiences. The only problem is that more prosecco has been consumed since, but no more oysters, a balance to hopefully be restored in the future!