What: Not to be confused with the newly opened Coal Rooms in Peckham, The Coal Shed is a sister restaurant to its Brighton namesake and has just opened in London’s new One Tower Bridge Development.
Who: Brighton restaurateur Raz Helalat is behind it - he also owns The Salt Room fish restaurant in Brighton - with former head chef at the Brighton restaurant Dave Mothersill now overseeing the food at all three of his restaurants.
The vibe: Despite being in a glass box, the clever people at Design LSM have created a dining space that feels cosy and intimate thanks to wooden flooring and panelling, vintage mirrors and ribbed glass. Never has the word shed been so inappropriate. If Hawskmoor and Flat Iron ever had any of those carnal instincts, this would be their offspring.
The food: The food at The Coal Shed mark two follows in the same vein as the original, but is no mere carbon copy. Where the seaside location kicks off with starters such as BBQ-glazed Jacob’s ladder; beef carpaccio; and Brixham scallops, at Tower Bridge there’s smoked short rib; pork cheeks and veal tartare. Mothersill has also reworked dishes that have the same ingredients to keep things original - while charred octopus comes with ancho potato, padron peppers, squid ink aioli in Brighton, in London it is served with aubergine and kombu; likewise quail comes with sumac, aubergine and greengage in Brighton but is accompanied by Merguez, quince and sour cream in London. There’s also a well thought-out pre and post theatre menu (£20 for two courses, £24 for three) with dishes such as wagyu cap and a burger as well as the Dinner by Heston Blumenthal-esque coal roast pineapple.
And another thing: Given the restaurant’s location a stone’s skip away from the river Thames, Helalat initially wanted to bring his The Salt Room brand to the capital. However, the developer preferred his meatier option - and what the developer says, goes.
One Tower Bridge, 4 Crown Square, SE1 2SE