This weekend I ventured East to try out Dalston’s most talked about seafood pop-up, Mussel Men. Originally based in a street-food shellfish stall named ‘Salty’, the Mussel Men have popped up at numerous locations across London, and since November have been residing in an interesting ocean-themed space on Kingsland Road, complete with an amazing mural wall.
Famous for their moules frites, on Sundays the restaurant serves an alternative seafood roast, a sheer mountain of fishy goodness. Our waitress, dressed in the standard issue sailor suit worn by all the staff, recommended we enjoy our roast with a bottle of prosecco, so we politely ordered one, as well as two (totally unnecessary) extra portions of fries.
Our two tier instagram-ready roast included mussels, clams, langostines, oysters, razor clams, soft shell crab, prawns, fat chips, mushy peas and cauliflower cheese. We were also presented with a plate of delicious garlic butters and hollandaise sauces. Everything was perfectly cooked, the highlight being the melt-in-the-mouth deep fried soft shell crab. Albeit a slightly unexpected accompaniment, the cauliflower cheese was the perfect Sunday night comfort food.
My only negative would be that due to the sheer size of the portions, and despite us devouring it at a worrying rate, by the time we’d got through half our mountain it had started going cold, and once tepid it lost some of its appeal.
I was also disappointed not to meet the famous Captain Bob (a.k.a. Mussel Men founder Robin Dunlop), who apparently roams the restaurant in search of thumb war opponents most evenings.
If in search of an alternative to your traditional Sunday roast, or even just a huge portion of mussels, then Mussel Men is an absolute must try. Roast is £20pp, book early to avoid disappointment.