Eight delicious shellfish dishes from restaurants around the world

Whether it’s fresh oysters or spicy prawns, shellfish is a real traveller’s treat. Here’s our pick of the world’s best, from an iced lobster souffle to a Californian chowder.

By Christie Dietz
Published 12 Apr 2021, 08:05 BST, Updated 15 Jun 2021, 13:30 BST
Seafood platter at The Angel Hotel, Abergavenny.

A seafood platter at The Angel Hotel, a 19th-century former posting inn in Abergavenny.

Photograph by The Angel Hotel

Potted Shrimp with curried Cauliflower Velouté

Kysty, Cumbria
Potting is an age-old British technique that involves placing brown shrimp in pots with melted butter and spices; as the butter sets, so the shellfish are preserved. At Kysty, in Ambleside, chef-patron Ryan Blackburn pots shrimps using his own secret recipe. Only the finest seasonal ingredients are used, including shrimp from the Irish Sea. £12 as a starter. 

Seafood Platter

The Angel Hotel, Abergavenny
Monmouthshire has a long history of fresh local shellfish, and at The Angel Hotel, a 19th-century former posting inn, it’s showcased in a bounteous platter featuring mussels, king prawns, seared scallops, deep-fried oysters and crab mayo with toast, plus a selection of fish. Main for two, or a starter for up to five, £60. 

King Prawns in Spicy Broth

Chishuru, London
Originally a supper club, Chishuru opened in Brixton in 2020 with a short menu combining modern techniques with British and West African ingredients. Nigerian-born chef Adejoké ‘Joké’ Bakare’s king prawns in spicy broth is inspired by a breakfast dish she was given by her grandparents; her version showcases juicy grilled king prawns in a light, peppery broth. £6. 

Iced Lobster Souffle

Bellamy’s, London
Named for the gentleman’s club in Evelyn Waugh’s The Sword of Honour trilogy, Bellamy’s is inspired by classic Franco-Belgian brasseries. The menu at its Oyster Bar includes brown shrimp croquettes and iced lobster souffle, the latter involving a generous portion of lobster in a light yet rich chilled souffle, a layer of lobster gelée and melba toast. £14.50.

Morecambe Bay potted shrimp with curried cauliflower velouté at Kysty, Ambleside.

Photograph by Phil Rigby Photography

World Famous New England Clam Chowder

Neptune’s Net, Malibu
A popular choice with locals and roadtrippers, this cult seafood shack on California’s Pacific Coast Highway has been serving food with an ocean view since 1956. Its shellfish options include fried shrimp tacos, beer-battered scallops and a ‘world-famous’ clam chowder. The thick, creamy soup, studded with clams, is best enjoyed with a sourdough bread bowl. $12.50 (£9). 

Seafood Okra Gumbo

Gumbo Shop, New Orleans
Louisiana’s official state dish, gumbo, is usually made with a roux base; the holy trinity of Cajun and Louisiana Creole cuisines (onions, peppers and celery); meat and/or seafood; and a thickener of okra or filé (dried and ground sassafras leaves). Gumbo Shop serves an okra-thickened version incorporating tomato, crab from nearby Lake Pontchartrain and shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico, all blended into a full-bodied soup and served over rice. $9.50 (£7). 


Get Shucked, Tasmania
This oyster bar on Bruny Island, off the southeastern coast of Tasmania, has its very own oyster farm in the pristine waters of Great Bay. Baby Pacific oysters are brought here from a farm in northern Tasmania to mature — you can see the buoys bobbing away in the ocean as you dine — and are then harvested, shucked and served fresh each day. Try them cooked, as part of mixed sharing platters with fresh sourdough, or go au naturel and order a half-dozen oysters, shucked and naked but for a squeeze of lemon. A$9 (£5). 

Crabmeat pastel with chilli coulis

Bazzar, Rio de Janeiro
Pastéis are popular Brazilian street food snacks: deep-fried pockets of dough filled with anything from ground meat to cream cheese to heart of palm. At long-standing Ipanema restaurant Bazzar, chef Lira Müller’s focus is on sustainable ingredients, sourced from small-scale local producers. Her pastéis are stuffed with locally caught crabmeat and accompanied by a coulis made with dedo de moça chillies. 51 real (£7).

Love food and travel? Taste the world at the National Geographic Traveller Food Festival, our immersive culinary event that takes place every summer. Find out more and book your tickets.

Published in Issue 11 (spring 2021) of National Geographic Traveller Food

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