I had never been to a Boisdale Restaurant before but I was very pleasantly surprised to discover how much I enjoyed the experience. There are four outposts: Canary Wharf, Bishopsgate, Wiltshire, plus the one that I visited which is in Belgravia. This is the original Boisdale and was opened in 1985 by Ranald Macdonald, the eldest son of the 24th Chief of Clanranald.
A happy blend between Scottish restaurant, jazz club, whisky bar and Cuban cigar haunt, this place exudes a traditional, easy charm. Some of this can be attributed to the décor, a mixture of rich reds, dark greens, mahogany and tartan-covered furnishings. But I think most of it was due to the lovely jazzy tunes being belted out by the fantastic jazz band that was there for our entertainment pleasure. Whatever the reason, the vibe at the Boisdale Belgravia works.
Boisdale are operating an Oyster Festival Menu (6 oysters plus three courses) until April 2012 which I tried. To kick off was a selection of oysters, judged by a panel from Boisdale and The Wright Brothers as being the best rock and native oysters. These included a couple of different Maldon Rocks which I loved for their meatiness, a Duchy of Cornwall No.3 which had a deep mineral flavour, and a Loch Ryan Scottish No. 2 which was voted the winner with its particularly complex flavour.