You’ll know when you’ve approached Randall & Aubin as the combination of its vibrant seafood display, together with the tantalizing smell of garlic buttered shellfish, will be too hard to resist.
When Randall & Aubin opened in 1996, it was the harbinger of change in London’s gentrifying Soho district and having recently celebrated its 20th birthday, the Soho seafood institution is still as popular as ever, with lines out the door every weekend.
Part of this success could be attributed to Randall & Aubin’s glorious past as one of London’s first butcher shops, which opened up in the same location in 1911. An initial observation will indicate that many elements of its past continues to live on – and with good reason. Walls are proudly adorned with awards dating back to the early 20th century and much of the shop’s original décor have remained as core fixtures. From the communal marble tables to the simple, white tiled walls, the distinctive old world charm makes a visit to Randall & Aubin even more enjoyable.
Fresh produce and sustainability is at the heart of Randall & Aubin’s ethos, and this is evident through its uncomplicated approach to its dishes. The grilled langoustine, simply topped with garlic butter, was juicy and enhanced by the subtle sweetness from the roe, whilst my personal favourite, the Bouillabaisse, was rich and full of flavor – both are must orders.
Randall & Aubin is far from a white tablecloth-dining affair, but that’s what makes the restaurant work. If there’s a queue, have a drink on the pavement but refrain from being too envious of the people dining inside, your time will come!
Langoustine roasted with garlic butter & pommes frites (£14.40)
Randall & Aubin pure crab cakes with lime mayonnaise, watercress & radish salad (£9.85)
Bouillabaisse with mixed West Country fish, spiced croutons & aioli (£18.50)
Spaghettini Marinara with pink prawns, crab, mussels, cockles, clams & squid (£12.60)
Randall and Aubin
16 Brewer Street
Soho, W1 London