The Coal Shed, Brighton

Silver Award
££££
Brasserie, International, Steak

The Coal Shed, Brighton
The Coal Shed, Brighton
The Coal Shed, Brighton
The Coal Shed, Brighton
The Coal Shed, Brighton
The Coal Shed, Brighton
The Coal Shed, Brighton
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SquareMeal Review of The Coal Shed, Brighton

Silver Award

“Beef to die for” is the big selling point at this Brighton restaurant, which is not only the original to the London offshoot The Coal Shed in Tower Bridge (which has been equally celebrated), but also the sister restaurant to Brighton’s The Salt Room. This place takes its protein seriously, with slabs of locally sourced fillet, rib-eye and rump sizzling on the kitchen's Josper grill and a blackboard listing different breeds, cuts and weights, all served with a choice of sauces (try the mushroom and bone marrow version, we beg you). Sides include indulgent truffle mac and cheese, minted Jersey Royals and beef-dripping chips.

The sharing Sunday roasts are another massive draw here, featuring half a kg of black Aberdeen Angus sirloin with beef-fat potatoes, cauliflower cheese, honey-roast root veg, seasonal greens, Yorkshire puddings and lashings of gravy to be shared between two. Black Angus burgers and Salt Marsh lamb rump with piperade and merguez sausages further maintain the ‘turf’ theme, but there's also plenty to keep ‘surf’ fans happy – from kombu-cured monkfish to cod with mussels, clams, white beans and monk’s beard. Finish with tongue-scorching mini-doughnuts dunked in molten chocolate.

Vegetarians should not feel uninvited here with delicious meat-free dishes such as wood-roasted artichokes with beets, fennel and a goat’s cheese mousse; stracciatella with heritage tomato and salsa verde; and spiced roasted cauliflower with golden raisins, puffed rice and za’tar grazing the menu. This is also the place for large group dining with two different reasonably priced set menus on offer.

The “busy” vibe and hard-edged, macho interior (stripped floorboards and industrial pendant lamps) feel right for the food, although it can result in a deafening din at peak times. Sensible prices, “amazing cocktails” and a drinker-friendly wine list with plenty by the glass or carafe are additional plus points. “Worth every penny”, chimes one fan.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Cuisines
Brasserie, International, Steak
Food Occasions
Sunday roast
People
Child friendly, Group dining [8+]

The Coal Shed, Brighton Also Offers

The Coal Shed, Brighton
Private Group Dining

Location for The Coal Shed, Brighton

8 Boyces Street, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1AN

01273 322998

Website

Opening Times

Dinner
Mon 18:00-22:00
Tue 18:00-22:00
Wed 18:00-22:00
Thu 18:00-22:00
Fri 18:00-22:30
Sat 18:00-22:30
Sun 18:00-22:00

Reviews of The Coal Shed, Brighton

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2 Reviews 
Food/Drink
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Value

Anon

Sadly disappointing birthday meal
28 March 2019  

I won't lie, I hadn't heard of the Coalshed before my partner booked it for my birthday lunch (we attended Sunday 24th). Reading up on it beforehand and looking at the pictures on the website I felt sure I was in for a real treat. There was a lot to like but, I'm sad to say the meat (a speciality?) was a mixture of inedible and nonexistant. "Huh?" Let me expand. 

After much deliberating, we decided to go for some oysters (nice) and BBQ jacobs ladder (good) to start, followed by the sharing roast for main. The starters and smashing house cola really seemed to set the tone from the get-go. I relaxed right into the surety of something special occuring. A meat specialist delivering special meat. I couldn't wait. 

Now, I don't know if it was representative or not, from the reviews I'd have to say probably not, but I did not get a single edible piece of meat. I'm not saying there was none, my partner piled in and took 2 slivers of beef while I was looking at the accompanyments and she was effusive in her praise. The 2 remaining slivers were not meat. Not unless you count fat as meat. I'm not being overly fussy or precious, nor am I cherry picking. I'm not in any way squeamish about fat in meat but the key is that there has to be meat to go with the fat. In this instance I had the choice of chargrilled lumps of fat (masquerading as meat) or unrendered strips of fat that were so tough I assumed I'd been given something as blunt as a butter knife and requested a change of steak knife. Neither knife was up to the job, and in trying to seperate some tiny morsal of what may or may not have proved to be flesh from the bulletproof strip of concrete I was trying to convince myself could be consumed,  all I succeeded in doing was spraying myself in gravy and potatoes. I wish I was exaggerating but I can honestly say I have no idea what the beef tasted like. I do know though that some of the fat is tougher than trigger fish skin and that the gravy wears as well as it tastes.

It wasn't all sad humiliation at the hands of inanimate fat strips (kevlar). The accompanyments were really lovely. The beef fat potatoes (ironically) excellent, as were the carrots. Also noteworthy was the cheesy-leek thing (delicious) They all went quickly. Overall the portion for 2 was pretty generous, if shockingly low on (edible) meat. And that's the thing, the rest was really good but we didn't travel 50+ miles to Brighton specifically to split a side plate of cheesey-leeky stuff and some super potatoes. My partner booked it because I love a top quality meat and she wanted to treat me on my birthday.

Being British I didn't complain, even though I was savagely disappointed. I decided to make the most British of pacts with myself and mention my surprise/disappointment only if/when asked whether we enjoyed the meal. No-one did, so I stayed silent.  I would have thought that anyone looking at my plate would have been shocked by the amount of obviously inedible matter going back to the kitchen but again, nothing. Certainly in other restaurants that would have led to questions.

My daughter had the burger from the kids menu. A surprisingly large patty in a dry bun that both she and I found unspectacular to eat and indeed chose not to finish. Between us we ate about 1/3. Her chips were nice though.

My partner and my daughter were excited by the puddings and ordered a selection of desserts (sweet selection, chocolate bar and donut). They didn't finish any. What I tried I found overly sweet but I'm not really a pudding person and could level that same criticism at many restaurant desserts. I don't often see either of them leave a pudding though, so I suspect perhaps the sweetness borders on the sickly side or that they didn't live up to expectations.

So, how do you square all of that up? We liked the setting, the staff were nice and friendly, the house cola was cracking (sort of a root beer/dandelion and burdock hybrid), the starters were good, the desserts at least passable if not exceptional and the accompanyments to the roast were spot on. Unfortunately, we, like most people I'd imagine, went for the meat and only 1 of us got any. The lunch was a very generous size but excessively priced at £20 per person considering its basically just potatoes, a yorkshire pudding, some carrots, broccoli and the (delicious) cheese/leek chimera. Expensive, I'd say, even if we'd had 4 slivers of actual meat between us instead of 2 and some filler. Do I wish I'd gone for a steak instead of the roast?  My immediate response is yes but I'd have my worries now.

In summary, a sadly underwhelming experience that I'd looked forward to for a couple of weeks but which only really succeeded in failing to (feel free to change the spelling to maximise the pun) meet expectations (sorry, couldn't help it).

Food & Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Mr. Noel C

01 May 2012  
Six of us went for my daughter's 20th birthday on a Sunday lunchtime. The restaurant is situated in an unsightly part of Brighton not far from the Lanes. The restaurant itself is functional, and was very quiet during our visit. The staff were welcoming, friendly and attentive throughout the meal. The menu is slightly confusing, in that you order the more expensive steaks/joints by their weight, and they are priced that way, £6 or so per 100g. We had a selection of starters including the bone marrow, which was delicious, scallops with pancetta and razor clams. The main course dishes were all very good, included half a lobster, calves liver, burgers with a variety of toppings and a rump steak with bone marrow jus. The side dishes at £2 each (including triple cooked chips) were excellent, just the right amount. We enjoyed our visit and will definitely go back, but at £35 per head (including wine and beer) it will have to be a fairly special occasion.
Food & Drink
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