Mussel Men, 584 Kingsland Road, Dalston, E8 4AH

Mussel Men is the place-to-be for the good, fresh and reasonably sourced seafood in London, with a dash of jovial seafaring spirit! The Mussel Men has just launched its new summer menu with some real classics – from Marinière to Vongole. We popped down to give it a go, and see if it lived up to expectations from a self-proclaimed seafood lover.

Beginning with the starters – smoked salmon with a guacamole dip for me, and flame grilled cured mackerel for my dining partner. The smoked salmon was perfectly cured, melt in the mouth delicious, and set off perfectly by the guacamole. Needless to say, the mountain of cassava chips served alongside were perfect for scooping it all up. First impressions – pretty good.

Next, we decided that sampling the Oysters was an absolute necessity. Oysters can be pretty hit and miss if not fresh or shucked properly, but these really hit the mark. We sampled three of the Carlingford, three of the Jersey and three of the Cumbrae. Each oyster had a unique taste, and size, and were all fresh and delicious, but the Jersey pipped the others to the post for me as a nice, plump oyster.

Time to see if the mussels lived up to the namesake – I ordered a big steaming bowl of the Mediterranean bisque mussels, and my guest tried the saffron and turmeric, all served with frites, naturally. Lucky, we were not disappointed. The rich and deep tomato-based Mediterranean bisque worked perfectly with the mussels, and tasted fantastic when soaked up with the frites. The mussels were nice and plump, perfectly cooked to ensure they didn’t go rubbery, and a hearty portion. The saffron and turmeric mussels were a fantastic colour, and again had a really fantastic depth of flavour.

This was all topped off with what is always a risky, but if pulled of the best, dessert on the menu – warm chocolate brownie with peanuts and vanilla ice cream. A sticky, tasty, warming brownie, this dessert finished me off, all washed down with an espresso martini. The perfect way to end a delicious meal.

Overall, I was incredibly impressed with Mussel Men. I entered the restaurant with slight scepticism, worried it would be another East London hipster joint with more style over substance, but I’m pleased to say this wasn’t the case. And the mussels… some of the best I’ve had in London to date. Mussel Men is definitely a place to go if you’re in search of scrumptious seafood in London.