Anywhere my grandparents recommend has to be good. Culinary experts and keen foodies, they seek out the very best restaurants in London sometimes before they have been reviewed by the critics.
Needless to say, I found out about Notting Hill’s new best kept secret long before most of the locals. The Shed is a family triumph, run by two brothers (a chef and a restaurant manager) with meat supplied from another farmer brother and wine from their mother’s vineyard.
It has a lovely feel inside with rustic mismatched furniture and shabby-chic decor. An eatery for farmhouse fantasies, I can’t fault the menu which changes depending on seasonal stock and their brother’s best meat.
After a glass of the ‘Daily Loosener’ – a delightful cocktail of Chase GB Gin, rhubarb, star anise and ginger – we got started on a feast of food. Sitting on the star chef’s table, just next to the little kitchen, we found ourselves munching on treats which we hadn’t even ordered. Beef heart, for instance, was passed to us when there was some leftover in the pan.
The creative menu has an obvious British influence, but is innovative and exciting beyond any restrictive labelling. Mouthfuls are priced at £1.50 and are literally a mouthful of food: matured beef with baby gem and wild garlic mayo was an absolute dream, whereas mackerel sashimi with mustard was an extremely pungent dish we found a little too challenging. Next came sticky and delicious spare ribs coated in an addictively tasty sauce.
There is plenty to choose from the ‘Slow’ and ‘Fast’ cooking sections. Standout dishes for me were the surprisingly light Garden herb gnocchi with peas, cheddar and mustard beans, and the sticky Spatchcock Quail with spicy ginger and summer salsa, a fresh and vibrant recipe – ideal for a light June lunch.
My guest loved the chunky Lamb chips which have already become a restaurant favourite, and the Scallop with smoked bacon cream, a lovely combination of ingredients composed beautifully on the plate.
Ensure you save room for dessert, the Shed Magnum Viennetta Parfait is the best pudding you will ever taste. Layered vanilla ice-cream, thick salted caramel sauce and shards of dark chocolate, it is dangerously good. I asked for the recipe but sadly the chef was unable to share the secret method and ingredients.
The Shed is a brilliant concept, and deserves all the credit it receives. I can’t wait to try many more Shed sensations.
More information here.