A hundred years ago, to gulp down champagne with oysters was akin to guzzling Chateau Latour with spam fritters today. Such was the ubiquity of the fleshy bivalves, they were used as a cheap alternative to meat in pies. That has all changed, of course, but the quest to find the perfect liquid accompaniment to oysters remains. Kim Sampson, new chef at the Mason Arms pub in Battersea, suggests Irish ales. For a fortnight, starting next Monday, he'll be serving rock and native oysters to partner the pub's draught Guinness or Caffrey's Irish Bitter. Diners can partake of the shellfish au naturel, as oyster tempura (with a Japanese dipping sauce), as ceviche (marinated in lime, coconut, chilli and coriander), or as oyster Santa Fe (with a spicy salsa) (all £5.50). Special dishes are promised for St Patrick's Day.
The Mason Arms, 169 Battersea Park Road, SW8 (0171-622 2007)
Noon-3pm, 6-10.15pm, 6-19 Mar