The Noisy Oyster sounds like one of those small town seafood restaurants that serves large portions of fried seafood accompanied by pitchers of beer to loudmouthed patrons wearing faded green rugby jerseys that don’t mind the stale smell in the air. If you’re looking for such a restaurant, then it’s your lucky day! There are tons around and you won’t have to go far to find one. But you won’t be happy with the Noisy Oyster, since this humble Paternoster outpost is a quality fine-dining restaurant. The cheeky name might be misleading, for you won’t get pitchers of beer here. And you probably won’t get many patrons in faded jerseys. And the only smells you’ll get won’t be stale. More like whiffs of the parma ham-wrapped anchovies en route to a table. Or the perfect snoek fishcakes. Or the freshly seared scallops. Just some of the rather unexpectedly gourmet dishes the place serves. Everything is good and fresh here. Especially the oysters, which you definitely won’t smell, because they’re so fresh perhaps they went and picked them from the seabed after you ordered.
They also have a pretty damned good wine list too. We chose Krone Borealis to wash down the oysters, which worked a treat. Changing the wine’s name from Twee Jong Gezellen or Twee Jong Gazelle or whatever it was to Krone Borealis was the best marketing move that winery ever made. And their bubbly being rather rich and delicious also helps, of course.
The Noisy Oyster, in reflection, is actually a rather romantic restaurant, with the back garden filled with a mix of garden trees, fairy lighting and flotsam from the sea. Not that you couldn’t come and have a raucous dinner here with friends and throw back several bottles of wine. Though if you’re really after a raucous time, there’s the Panty Bar at the Paternoster Hotel, right next door. That place gets messy. When we walked in, around 9pm, the barmen handed a double Olaf Bergh brandy and coke to the sturdy (the guy was built like Obelix) man in rugby shorts standing next to us. He turned out to be Henk. Henk looked at me and said assertively, “Brandewyn moet a naam en ‘n van heh!” Then he downed half of it. After that welcome, naturally my dining partner and I ended up stumbling home at 2am, after several dance-offs, writing ‘the phonetic sound of seagulls’ on the roof and being invited to ‘Henk’s wedding’…
The Noisy Oyster. 022-752-2196.