Young and coffee in varying degrees, Kat also says stuff @ThoroughlyMode
Published January 14th 2011
There's something to be said for frill-less tradition when it comes to seafood. And to champagne. The two things that Randall and Aubin specialise in. Good fresh seafood doesn't need a lot of fussing with to become a really good meal, and this is the policy Randall and Aubin have opted for and are sticking with.
For the simplest dish, and one of the best, they do a seafood platter, which comes with crab, prawns, shrimp, scallops, clams, whelks, mussels and rock oysters, with plenty of everything. And it's around £30 a head. But they're also known for their lobster. And of course oysters. They also do good chips - which makes sense.
The tiles might be from this restaurant's past life as a butchers, but they certainly give the place the right sort of oyster bar chic to suit Soho, especially when you add the marble topped tables and benches and candelabras. There are a couple of small booths along the walls, but most of the action takes place in the centre of the restaurant – you might have thought that an oyster and champagne (and lobster) restaurant/ bar would be romantic, but not in the case of Randall and Aubin. They do the candles, but they don't really do the soft piano music or the privacy, the vibe is far more involving, with perky, even clubby music, depending on the time of your visit, and a busy bustle about it.
The bustle is because of two things: 1.The food and fine, fine selection of drinks. 2. Randall and Aubin, whoever they may be, have deemed that they'll be no taking of bookings here, so you just have to wait and then squeeze in when you can. So mind your party size when you plan to come here. But expect to feel involved in what's happening with folks – it's a great place to people watch if you like the vibrancy of Soho (put politely.).