Shucked Oyster Bar
Shucked is an oyster bar. But while you can order champagne, calamari and cheese platters, there are more tables with burgers, fried chicken and cocktails. And patrons are enjoying a soundtrack of Biggie Smalls. The mix comes from Luke and Jill Collins. Luke has dropped out of the world of fine dining (Luke Benchmark in Sylvania) to serve oysters and what he calls “posh takeaway”.
The shucked burger is soft, juicy, slightly sour and savoury. The fried chicken, marinated in buttermilk, coconut cream and lemongrass, is enormous and true to Collins’ nickname for it: “KFC on acid”.
There is also dill- and citrus-battered fish and chips and kiwifruit-marinated calamari. Collins’ approach to the oysters is unusual. They are topped with a lemongrass granita, with a perfect balance of sweet, tart and sharp. Or there’s the blue-cheese mornay – as delightfully unsubtle as anything covered in cheese.
Jill is in charge of the equally short drinks menu. The venue serves classics such as the velvety, pale-violet Aviation, and a zesty Margarita.
The best summary of the whole place is the portraiture on the restaurant’s wooden panelled walls – George Benson, Amy Winehouse, Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra and Biggie Smalls. The plan is to bring in live music: hip-hop on Fridays and Saturdays, but jazz on Sundays.