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Inventively Luxurious Knightsbridge Seafood Restaurant Heads for East London Railway Arch

The Sea, The Sea will open in Haggerston this summer, with a second dining counter from Leo Carreira

A half scallop in jts shell on ice in a dark blue bowl, scattered with sour peas
A scallop and sour pea dish from the early days at The Sea, The Sea
Helen Cathcart/The Sea, The Sea

Inventively luxurious Knightsbridge fishmonger and restaurant The Sea, The Sea will take its dry-aged fish and loosely Portuguese-inflected seafood menu — there headed up by former Viajante, Lyle’s, and Londrino chef Leo Carreira — to Haggerston in July. It has placed a licensing application to open at 337 Acton Mews, bringing one of the city’s most interesting seafood restaurants alongside Planque — a wine bar/club with Seb Myers, also formerly of Viajante on the pans — in the development, as well as grill restaurant Berber and Q. It will take over the site of Draughts, a board game cafe.

The vibe disconnect between Haggerston and Knightsbridge might at first raise eyebrows. But Pavilion Road, which also houses a Natoora and attendant ice cream shop, cheese/wine shop, and butcher is sort of a Spa Terminus for oligarchs, and Acton Mews — with its own railway arches and already built-up scene — seems a willing home for a place as likely to serve grower champagne and countless oysters as a lobster sandu made with nori, sushi rice, and coral derived from Carreira’s improvisational culinary repertoire, which has grown more playful on Pavilion Road than at Londrino, his Bermondsey restaurant that closed last year and often took razor-edged flavour clarity and respect for product into the realm of monkish asceticism. Here, his counter will open in September, looking to evolve on the success of Pavilion Road.

Carreira’s partner at The Sea, The Sea is Alex Hunter, whose restaurant group Bonnie Gull closed down in March 2021 after ten years in Soho and Fitzrovia. Carreira and Hunter had intended to replace the Soho seafood shack with Claro, a more deliberately Portuguese taberna — perhaps akin to Londrino’s wine bar — but plans had to be shelved in early 2020 with the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic also broadened The Sea, The Sea’s operations as a fishmonger, introducing London-wide delivery of glimmering sea bream, whole turbot, and elegant slices of tuna cut for sashimi, which will expand in Hackney with a walk-in dry-ageing room for wholesale fish orders.

Update: 9 June, 2021, 10:13 a.m.: This post has been updated to reflect the opening date.