This is the first London sibling for the much-loved Brighton establishment of the same name, which itself is fundamentally inspired from the art of cooking top quality meat and seafood over fire. This new site is part of the One Tower Bridge development, and it's a delight – the service is warm, friendly and efficient, the dining room is terrifically stylish, and the menu is suitably eclectic and thoughtful, championing ethically sourced produce that is as local as possible.
Drawing from traditional methods of cooking over natural fire and charcoal, the menu tends, as you'd expect, towards meat and seafood, served with that irresistibly smoky flavour. The accompanying flavours all complete the most exquisite dishes through some quite sensational combinations. The traditional enhanced with the modern works very well, and the gorgeously fresh produce is a treat for the taste-buds. Start with some inventive snacks, like the Crispy Beef Tendons with a Kimchi Ketchup, before moving onto the equally creative starters. We loved the Smoked Short Rib with chipotle, coffee, and pickles, but the surprise favourite was the Pork Cheek. Expertly combined with artichoke, maple and lardo, the mouth-watering dish had us fighting over the last bite. An impressive smoking bowl of rare Venison makes for a yummy main, and an impressive Instagram post, but the Turbot stole the show with delicate flavours and textures, as well as a beautifully presented dish. Very satisfying. Desserts play on a nostalgic theme with the wonderful Chocolate Bar complete with Aero pieces, and doughnuts perfect for dipping into velvety sauces.
A modern but cosy site in the new Tower Bridge development, the restaurant feels like a traditional seaside tavern with wood panelling, dark green leather and low wooden beams. It is brought into a more contemporary London setting by the glass façade, quirky lighting, and an incredible bespoke mural on the first floor, in which fire and water are represented in human form. See if you can spot the cleverly disguised London landmarks featured within it.
• Pork Cheek with Artichoke, Maple, Lardo
• Venison with Rosscoff, Salsify, Chocolate, Figs
• Turbot with Cauliflower, Curry, Cockles
• Chocolate Bar with Aero, Malt, Praline
Q Insider Tip
The main menu is delicious but try not to miss the Sunday Roasts at some point, because they're something else, and made for two people to tuck into (if you can bear to share). There are some really delightful twists on the traditional offerings of Yorkshire puddings and roast potatoes, served with mouth-watering smoky meat, straight from the grill, and our very own Keith Doyle sums it up all rather succinctly when he says it's: "Simply fabulous!"
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The Coal Shed, Tower Bridge | The Review