Posted on Friday, 28th August 2015
Last week I paid a repeat visit to The Shed, a restaurant by The Gladwin Brothers. My first visit was great and you can read about that meal and the background to The Shed here. I also visited The Rabbit recently, the sister restaurant of The Shed and loved that experience too. Sadly this second visit to The Shed was somewhat underwhelming. There were a couple of poorly executed elements in the food. The service was slow as well. Clearly there are some consistency issues at The Shed.
We’ll start with the service which was disorganised. We ordered some wine which failed to arrive as and when it should have. We had to repeat our order three times before the wines finally showed up which meant we had to wait, wait, wait. The restaurant was busy, but not so busy that this couldn’t have been avoided.
The concept of the menu at The Shed continues to centre around a variety of different sharing plates that the restaurant refers to as fast cooking and slow cooking. There are also mouthfuls, the idea of which centres around canapé sized morsels of food which are ideal for getting a mouthful of something tasty.
From the fast cooking section, we tried the pan-fried goat’s cheese (£6.30) with a drizzling of honey and a touch of thyme which tasted warm and good. To round off the dish was a topping of hazelnuts. The idea of the nuts worked with the cheese, but disappointingly, they did not taste as fresh as they should have.
Raw scallops (£11) with black summer truffle, garlic and kohlrabi showed all the traditional hallmarks of a classic ‘Shed’ dish – fresh, robust and lively. The scallops were a delight, made all the more delicious with the lovely freshness from the ingredients in the dish.
Next we moved onto the ‘Pork cigars’ (£8) with Shed mustard and tarragon, a dish of braised pork wrapped in puff pastry. This again failed to impress as the ‘cigar’s were alarmingly salty. This was a shame as the pork was tender and nicely cooked, and had it not been for the over seasoning, this could have been a good plate of food.
A dessert of honeycomb crunchies (£6) with chocolate, mascarpone and tarragon sugar were well made and enjoyable, if a little too sweet. However it was difficult to detect the flavour of the tarragon in the sugar.
The scallop dish was undoubtedly the winning dish of the evening and demonstrates that The Shed has what it takes to be a great restaurant. I know the Gladwin Brothers are capable of better, having dined at The Rabbit recently where the food was fabulous. On this occasion, the force behind our experience felt slack. There are clearly some consistency and service issues at The Shed that ought to be looked at if Londoners are to remain convinced that The Shed continues to deserve all the recognition it has received thus far. I’m not saying that The Shed was bad, just that it should have been better as it is capable of so much more.
1. The raw scallop dish.
1. The disorganised service.
2. The over seasoning of the pork cigar plate.
3. The less than fresh hazelnuts in the goat’s cheese dish.
Food rating: 3.5/6
Service rating: 2.5/5
Prices: £25 to £35 a head for 5 dishes and a dessert to share between two. Excludes drinks and service.