Well I had booked in advance because I believed I should prepare myself for some Great British food.
Thoughts running through my mind of flavours from the British Gods, being in the country where all of this was created, tasting seasonal produce and countryside treats.
I was excited.
Atmosphere: It’s a very cute little wooden shop in Nottinghill. Once you step inside you feel like you’re not in London anymore. I suspect this was the idea. The lunch was booked quite early so I only got an idea of the ambience towards the end of the meal. Tables are quite close together so we did have a listen to a first Tinder date that was happening at the table positioned about 5cm away from ours. Entertaining! But we understand this might not be for everyone.
Presentation etc. : Ceramic, clay & terracotta small dishes (again). High-end presentation. Tip: +/- 2-3 dishes p.p. (so says their menu… however, if you’re hungry, I would suggest getting maybe 5 extra each, you might leave with empty pockets though).
Food: Salt is a thing right? Well, apparently this is unbeknown to Shed. However, if they use salt on their dishes, I have a fear that they might increase their prices by an extra 10% each so maybe its better left off.
They have the potential to create spectacular food but, unfortunately, it was just miss after miss.
The bread we ordered (a sourdough) had the makings to be absolutely sublime but, unfortunately, they took it out of the oven way too soon and it was like eating cement. Tasty though! and the butter did have salt in it (yay).
The tempura peppers, once again, could have been great! The flavours were there, but so muted because I don’t believe salt ever met the dish.
The venison cigars, thank goodness for slow cooking. The flavours were there and it was a good dish. Great contrasting and interesting textures especially with the thinly wrapped filo around the pulled venison. The best savoury dish by far.
Then we get the birds.
Well. I was almost reduced (slow cooked, fried, sous-vide) to tears. ALMOST. But then I reminded myself of happy things such as rainbows, butterflies and little rabbits running around in the meadows. Let me just leave the price:
Pigeon – GBP 12
Grouse – GBP 14
The pictures below will be labelled. Hopefully you will agree with my *almost* tears.
OH! There was no seasoning on these dishes either. I must say though, that the meat was cooked very well. But that goes rather unnoticed when you are paying that much for that little.
Finally, (thank goodness I ordered this) the dessert. Honeycomb dipped in chocolate sitting on sweetened mascarpone with tarragon sugar. At least they know how to use sugar. This was great and not too heavy at all and perfect for sharing. I think if I was to recommend this restaurant, I would suggest just getting the dessert.
The wine conundrum: Well, the wine glasses were mini Stella Artois glasses x WSET ISO glasses. When I’m drinking a wine that is greatly marked up, I would like
1. The wine glass not to have residual lipstick on it or, I believe, little bird feathers.
2. Not to have fossilised red wine at the bottom (it can’t be that expensive to replace a couple glasses, especially when you’re obtaining exorbitant margins from your food and wine).
3. To have a wine glass, not a beer glass plz (nor a WSET glass – there are some painful flashbacks associated with ISO glasses as I’m sure many of you would agree. I would like a “Jancis Robinson perfect thin-stemmed, burgundy, luxury, put me in Annabel’s and if I touch the glass it will probably crack” glass).
Besides the glassware, the wine was great.
Nutbourne Vineyards, a Sussex based vineyard. Drinking beautifully now. a 100% Bacchus wine. The nose of a Riesling and the palette of a Gewurtztraminer. Lovely and a pleasure to be drinking a British wine. British wine’s always raise eyebrows but I believe this was particularly decent for our frosty little island.
Overall Impression: The ambience was okay. The décor was cool. The website did not match their actual vibe nor did it meet the level of luxury set out online. The food let them down greatly, but was picked up a bit by the dessert and the wine.
Wiiines rating out of cool: Tepid