The Coal Shed is the king of Brighton restaurants, but can it cut it in the Big Smoke? Hell, yes …
Opening in London having been a success in the ‘burbs or another town/city must be a hard trip to make for a restaurant; the audience is different, changing, commuters, residents, tourists, dramatically different seasonal changes in human traffic, everything must feel exaggerated. But then, so are the benefits if you get it right (ker-ching!).
For some, though, that journey is a bit easier and you would imagine it will be for the Coal Shed, a Brighton hit hot joint that has opened a London outpost having garnered national critical acclaim.
This acclaim though isn’t enough to win over London and its visitors, but the attitude and the food seem to be a perfect fit. There is a cool menu of meats and fish over fire, all highly Instagrammable; all the side dishes tell a story (mash with marrow and burnt ends, spinach with three cheese), the detail is incredible and the interior cool. It seems born to be a London success story.
The location is a slightly odd one in that you would have bet your money on a Soho spot, or a City/Shoreditch affair, but the hotel at One Tower Bridge has the good fortune to play host to the Coal Shed’s capital project, so the idea must be to drag the City folk down, pull the Borough folk over, suck in the theatre goers (OTB has a 900-seat theatre), and hotel custom, and watch the plaudits and the cash roll in.
And roll in it surely must with a menu that boasts Pork cheek with artichoke, Orkney scallop with squash, jerk salmon with pineapple, veal tartare with hazlenuts: here, the Josper oven is going to be working its magic, churning out luscious, smoky flavours; and the word is the desserts are to die for.
With a funky wine menu for all wallets, the Coal Shed looks set for a long London lifetime. Get on down.