Meat, Fish and Fire at The Coal Shed, London Bridge
The Coal Shed, London Bridge - Restaurant Review
Style Points: 4/5
Location: London Bridge
Located near the iconic and historic London Bridge and Tower of London and within sight of The Shard and HMS Belfast is a steakhouse that offers more than just steak and chips.
The Coal Shed London is the flagship restaurant to The Coal Shed and The Salt Room in Brighton and offers a great selection of sustainable fish as well as meats. I had heard great things about the restaurant and the first thing that impressed me was the fabulous location just behind the architecturally impressive City Hall, the headquarters of the Greater London Authority including the Mayor of London. In front of the restaurant is a beautiful water display that illuminates into a host of colours and is a great reason to get a table next to the window so you can admire it whilst you dine.
The menu itself is quite extensive and there is daily specials board that offers choice cuts of beef and whole fish to share as well as a pre-theatre menu to take advantage of the Bridge Theatre that neighbours the restaurant. The Pre-Theatre Menu is £20 for two courses and £24 for three and is quite reasonable with starters such as wild rabbit and ham knuckle with pickled vegetables and tarragon and mains including roasted south coast bream with leeks, peas, and bacon.
We decided to dine from the A La Carte menu and for starters we went for the ancho glazed bone marrow with spring onion, salsa and sourdough bread (£8) and smoked pork collar with kimchi and peanuts (£8.) The bone marrow consisted of two medium sized bones filled with bone marrow and topped with the spring onion and salsa. Unfortunately the first bone marrow has very little bone marrow in it but luckily the second one had some and was quite tasty especially when eaten with the warm sourdough bread. The smoked pork collar was delicious and with the crunchy kimchi and peanuts it was a winning combination.
For mains, I decided on the smoked potato cake with asparagus, peas, broad beans and egg (£15 - also on the pre-theatre menu) with truffle mac ‘n’ cheese (£5) and my guest went for the 300g ribeye (£24) with a green peppercorn sauce (£2) and a side of beef dripping chips (£4.)
The potato cake was light and fluffy yet beautifully crisp and when eaten with the baby onions that were hiding in the greens it really exploded with flavour. The egg was also cooked perfectly and oozed with a creamy deep yellow yolk when cut. I was very impressed with this dish and was glad I chose it.
The ribeye was a perfect medium rare and melted in the mouth and the peppercorn sauce is of course a winning flavour combination with steak. The beef dripping chips tasted okay but were not crispy as I was hoping for and I don’t think cooking them in beef dripping added any significant flavour if I’m honest. However, the truffle mac ‘n’ cheese was a winner. It was a hefty portion and was oozing with melted cheese through the al dente macaroni that was riddled with flecks of rich black truffle.
Along with our mains we of course had some cocktails. I opted for the Jasmine Margarita (£9) - Jasmine Tequila, Grapefruit, Curaçao, Lime and my guest went for the Maple Treacle Old Fashioned (£10) - Dark Rum, Maple Syrup, Smoked Rosemary, Apple Juice. Both cocktails were fabulous but I highly recommend the maple treacle old fashioned which was smoky and sweet with the flavour of rum and maple syrup.
By now we were quite full but we couldn’t leave without having dessert! We decided on the grapefruit pavlova with cultured cream and brown sugar ice cream (£8) and the milk chocolate bar with nutella, blood orange and waffle ice cream (£10.)
If you love meringue you’ll love the pavlova, it was perfectly cooked and when you crack it open the unique brown sugar ice cream with the flavour of molasses is your reward. I understand the need for grapefruit to cut through the sweetness but I found it a bit too sour and it didn’t really need it so I ended up leaving it on the plate. The milk chocolate bar was quite simply a stunning dessert and I’m so glad the waitress recommended it over the apple fritters.
The creamy waffle ice cream was delicious as was the segments of blood orange which cut through the rich and gooey chocolate bar perfectly. Orange and chocolate is of course a match made in dessert heaven and this dish does it justice, and then some.
We also tried some dessert cocktails and went for the La Rue du chocolate - Mozart Chocolate Spirit, White Chocolate Liquor, Walnuts, Milk (£8.5) and supreme digestif espresso martini - Vodka, Mr. Black’s, Demerara, Espresso, Chocolate Bitters (£9.5.) The former was surprisingly sharp and sour with the taste of cacao and I’m still not sure whether I liked it or not! The espresso martini was great however and is always a great cocktail to end meal on.
The prices are reasonable and reflect the area it is in with starters around £8-9, steaks £24-28, seafood and other mains around £15-18, sides £4-5 and desserts around £8-10.
Cocktails are priced reasonably at around £9. Of course, there is also the Pre-Theatre Menu offering two courses for £20 and three for £24.
I really liked dining at The Coal Shed and felt that the food matched the trendy location and relaxed ambience. It is a great restaurant for couples, friends and family dining, especially if you’ve spent the day walking around London Bridge sightseeing and need a place to unwind and eat good comforting food.
Book your table on The Coal Shed’s website.
Address: Tower Bridge Rd, London SE1 2UP
Closest tube station: London Bridge
Special thanks to The Coal Shed for their hospitality!