The Coal Shed

September 26, 2019

 The memorable meat at The Coal Shed certainly isn’t surprising, but the flavourful seafood and great sides, starters and desserts make for an impressive meal overall. 


On a bleak early September evening, we ask for defiantly summery drinks: Jamie goes for a fruity Beach Session IPA from local brewery Lost Pier, and I choose a crisp Hallets cider, handmade in the hills of Wales (both £5.50).  


We dovetail: I go fish then steak, Jamie pork then fish. His smoked old spot pork belly, with apple and radish slaw (£8) is a louder affair: with a tang and a kick to it. My fire-roasted prawns with broad beans and jersey royals (£9) are fantastic, with large, smoky, fluffy prawns – and the secret sauce is fresh and fragrant too.


We indulge in the à la carte options, but it’s worth noting that there is also an express menu available at off-peak hours. Jamie settles on the south coast fish stew, with scallops, prawns, smoke liquor and more crustaceans (£23).

 

He’s gleeful, exclaiming that “it tastes like eating the cast of Finding Nemo”: a salty, vibrant cornucopia of fish, brimming with the tasty echoes of colourful personalities.


I’m thrilled with my steak too: an attractive Himalayan salt aged sirloin (£24), which is tender, and perfectly cooked over coal to a consistent, delicious, medium texture. The outer third is neatly fire-tinged; the inner is pink and succulent. Waiter Georgi suggests salsa verde sauce to accompany the steak. It’s an aromatic way to vary the flavour at times, but I prefer to enjoy the steak as is, or paired with some chunky chips, cooked in beef fat to joyful effect (£4). 


The sides at the bottom of the menu look irresistible, and prove delightful. The garlic field mushrooms are generously infused with a treacly oil (£4), while the truffle mac’n’cheese, adds a contrasting rich and cheesy tone to the meal, with a lovely crispiness on top (£5). 


The service is attentive and efficient: Georgi politely wonders if we can possibly fit in dessert. Maybe a bit of ice cream, to share, if they have any? They do! We order a selection of homemade ice cream for £6. We’re told the options change weekly: the lemon thyme is our favourite, joined by a somewhat savoury honey and walnut, and a sharp berry flavour. 


Quality permeates the whole menu. In addition to the treats listed above, I appreciate their fantastic loose-leaf Assam tea (£3), for example. Furthermore, Georgi explains that they aim to make as much in-house as possible, down to the mayonnaise we dipped our chips in. 

Photo by Jamie Wilkinson


8 Boyce's Street, 01273 322998

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