Wed-Sat: 12-3pm, 6-10pm
Corner of Guilford Street and Russell Square, WC1B 5BE
We were expecting good things from Brett Redman and Margaret Crow’s follow up to The Richmond (and also wondering if their oysters would be as good). We’re glad to say, Neptune really doesn’t disappoint. It might located within the recently renovated Principal Hotel, but this is far from run-of-the-mill hotel dining: Neptune is a destination in its own right.
Décor and Vibe
Walk in here and it’s difficult not to be impressed; the interiors are something straight out of a Wes Anderson film. Think pastel palettes, plush mid-century furniture and kitsch details (we spotted a rogue lava lamp). The room is huge, and comprises of a cocktail bar, a seafood bar, and a main dining area – it’s big but there are lots of smaller areas that feel intimate. Every single thing has been considered here, from the fun, bespoke graphics on the menus, cloakroom tickets and uniforms to the branded matches you can pick up as you walk out.
No prizes for guessing that Neptune specialises in seafood, and naturally, they do it well. The thing to order here is the seafood platter – it seemed like everyone around us had one, so we had to try it – it’s ostentatious and delicious, and the home-made hot sauce is a great oyster accompaniment. The bad news for veggies – the concise menu is made up almost entirely of fish and meat-based dishes. The good news? We were told there’s an entirely separate vegetarian menu. If you like kitsch classics, you’ll be pleased: think langoustines in marie-rose and beef tartare sauce alongside lobster in white pepper butter and steaks with classic trimmings.
Their menu might have some classics, but the wine list here is left-field: old school dishes meet some very new school pairings. All the wines are organic and low-intervention, with a focus on orange wines and unusual varieties.
Struggling with your seafood platter? You can ask the chef to crack everything for you if you aren’t a pro: crayfish are tricky.
The décor. We felt more like we were on a really well done movie set than inside a restaurant. We wanted to take all of the furniture home with us.