A place of contradictions. On one hand trying to be 'rustic'... another trying to be far too cool for school. Food was tasty, but portions rather tiny (far from hearty!) to say the least. Music was johnny cash/American country while at same time trying to also wax lyrical about British country produce. Beautiful space but yet crammed in on uncomfortable stools. Trying far too hard.
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Tue Sep 24 2013
From a distance, with its white wooden cladding and high pitched roof, this restaurant does look suspiciously like a shed. Home for years to the old Ark restaurant, under brothers Oliver and Richard Gladwin it’s had a playful makeover that’s as much barnyard as back-garden, with piggy portraits, bits of tractor, and charming staff in check shirts. It’s a fitting setting for the food, which goes beyond the usual hackneyed take on British. Plates are small, meant for sharing, and divided into sections such as ‘mouthfuls’, ‘fast cooking’ and ‘slow cooking’. The menu changes regularly; many ingredients are sourced from in or around the family farm in Nutbourne, West Sussex (including wine from Nutbourne Vineyards). From fresh-tasting carrot houmous with sourdough breadsticks, to the meaty goodness of the Nutbourne banger with own-made mustard, it was all delicious, and inventive without being tricksy. Hake with samphire, capers and a slick of red pepper sauce was possibly our favourite plate, though spatchcock quail with cucumber, poppy seed and a delicate barbecue sauce ran it close. Only a slightly too salty, overly fatty veal blade with haricot beans and black cabbage disappointed. Puddings are wickedly good – their ‘Magnum vienetta parfait’ is a reinvention of the old standard (with added salted caramel and dark, dark chocolate) that has to be tried. We’ll be back – especially as prices are so very reasonable for the area and the quality.
Average User Rating
3.6 / 5
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Unctuous, cheap ingredients ignorantly foisted......
What could have been a pleasant lunch turned into a restaurants kamikaze-based approach in ensuring mild-mannered but discerning patrons are turned into public detractors. It is, as described, a shed; with aspirations to be a glasshouse, this should, of course, have been a warning. Apart from the reviews I have since read about the unreliable electrics, which I had no need of, the initial jolly banter was all about the concept. I, for one, cannot eat concepts. So British Tapas is for sharing I was told. I asked for meat. As there were no cuts as such, the ingredients were disguised in "wild garlic" and the American habit of over-describing a simple food in order to pump up its cost to the under-discerning or just plain compliant customer and ladies who lunch in that detached from reality manner. Whilst I dallied with the leaving immediately strategy, my fellow diner had his interest piqued, so I relented by looking at a wine list of overpriced young reds that were a text book triumph of selection from cash and carry by Yahoo, not even a sound search engine these days, multiplied by a random number larger than 10. The final price of the wine served being defined more by the bus numbers floating past rather than any reflection of the input cost and/or merit. Chorizo arrived after some time, maybe the electrics had electrocuted the initial chef, after the aforesaid lunchtime plonk, £40. The chorizo tends to sausage-like construction in my limited 30 odd years of consumption in Spain and, more recently, even in the United Kingdom. This was an oily, tartrazine-red mince. Beef cigars of limp , grey, indeterminate protein-like filling that I could not bring myself to move from plate to mouth. By this time the staff had of sort of grasped the British Tapas concept was not sating appetites and their young, thrusting and unfounded confidence was undermined. This made them very sour. Somewhat unable to absorb the clear benefit of being gently informed that the menu really was mutton dressed as conceptual lamb, but with added benefit of sharing, of course, without even the relief from poor wine as a crutch to maintain a modicum of customer satisfaction. £70 for the amount of pleasure the Great Hadron Collider would have difficulty in measuring. Kensington Wine Rooms over the road on Church Street is convivial, provides excellent fare and allowed us to wallow in a fine 1998 for the same outlay. When cost is not an issue there is the luxury of time to appreciate quality. The Shed assumes the first of its customers and provides nothing that would enable that type of custom to anything but be underwhelmed to the point that they need to broadcast the result of their tawdry experience. Avoid.
I came here to celebrate my fathers birthday and couldn't have enjoyed the evening more. The Shed has now become my favorite restaurant in London and I can't stop telling everyone about it! The waiters are lovely and its as if you are invited to join the family. There's a great atmosphere and genuine rural vibe. The daily loosener was delicious and we all enjoyed the fact that so many of the ingredients are foraged. The food was definitely the high point, especially the lamb chips, and we all loved the sharing aspect. Its amazing how much emphasis is put on sourcing the produce and the passion for the food is shared by the waiters, chefs and owners alike. The Shed offers a truly unique, fantastic dinning experience, which is not to be missed by anyone!
The shed is one of the best london restaurants Ive been to. The food is excellent, and the staff are friendly and knowledgable about the dishes and produce. We will definitely be returning regularly!
The food was really good. The service was another story and it made the whole experience pretty bad. I live in the area and had high hopes.
Popped into this place for a Friday lunch (with no booking). The front of house were very friendly and explained the menu thoroughly - I would suggest having at least 2 (or 3) plates per person...small portion of absolute sensations! The lamb chips and tender cuttlefish are a must. Great for sharing but you could order your own I suppose. International wine list; I tried a biodynamic sauvignon blanc from New Zealand. Have a table booked for dinner as I want to try out the buzzy atmosphere of the evening service - great little place and I highly recommend it!
Eaten there once so far, as I live in the country, but have another date planned very soon. Food was totally superb and very original, as was the decor and atmosphere. Tried a white wine from their associated English vineyard, really excellent. Service a little on the slow side. They need to work on that !!!. But all in all an excellent and exciting evening out.