The owner of one of London’s oldest and most storied seafood restaurants believes he has an exoskeleton-clad formula for attracting a younger crowd: Take that seafood; move it west; add some disc jockeys.
That’s the rationale behind Scott’s Richmond, the newest restaurant from tycoon Richard Caring, which will open later this autumn at 4 Whittaker Avenue in the sleepy riverside suburb in a bid to “shake up its new riverside setting” and “capture the imagination of aspirational locals,” aided and abetted by a Thames-side terrace.
It will feature all the usual trappings of a Mayfair seafood palace: a towering raw bar of ice and oysters; meticulously prepared white fish with a classical French bent, including its most famous dish of Dover sole; and meticulously prepared raw fish with a “what if citrus and some generically Asian things” bent. As when opening a Mayfair restaurant, there is no such thing as too much too much raw fish, grilled meat, or citrus when it comes to migrating a Mayfair restaurant.
But! It will also have DJs on the floor above Thursday — Sunday, and new dishes for the youth, like a shrimp burger with kimchi ketchup. Caring is yet to have his fill of scattergun mining Asian cuisine for profit when convenient.
Taken together, all of these decisions exemplify what is perplexing about the plans to migrate, of all of Caring’s portfolio, Scott’s. He’s already attempting to pepper the city with Ivy Asias; there are Ivys everywhere (including in Richmond); and Sexy Fish is so ready for roll-out it’s already in Miami. He has a portfolio with ample room for duplication.
Scott’s, though, dating back to 1851, still actually very good at cooking seafood, and with one of the most sought-after dining terraces in the entire city, is yet to succumb to his apparent desire for cookie-cutter bacchanalia. Alas, it resists no more.