Restaurant Review: The Coal Shed

Climbing Jacob’s Ladder (of ribs) in the heart of Brighton

Amongst the hustle and bustle of the antique hunters scouring Brighton’s busy streets for bargains on a Saturday, gourmet steakhouse The Coal Shed is a cool, calm and classy reprieve. With its modern, industrial-chic interior, it has established itself as a worthy addition to Brighton’s foodie scene over the past four years and is the perfect place to while away the hours with some excellent food and wine.    

The Coal Shed offers a seasonal à la carte menu, daily specials and a brilliantly priced express lunch menu. Its specialities include a range of 35-day, dry-aged steaks from the North Highlands of Scotland, as well as a range of locally sourced seafood. We ate from the à la carte menu and after salivating over its varied choices with a crisp glass of Prosecco, I plumped for the seared scallops with watercress cream, hazelnut butter and truffle to start, while my date enjoyed the BBQ Jacob’s Ladder, a gorgeous slow-cooked beef short rib in a smoky sauce. Both were delightful – the scallops were perfectly cooked, melting in the mouth with fantastic flavour, and the Jacob’s Ladder was sticky and tender.

Already knowing that our main courses were sure to be delicious after the success of our starters, we were more than happy to accompany our steaks with a gorgeous bottle of Californian Cannonball red wine, recommended to us by our host. Both ordering medium rare steaks – mine the rib-eye and his the sirloin – we narrowed down the extensive and tempting list of sides to the beef dripping chips, the creamed spinach and the parmesan and truffle macaroni cheese. All of them were exceptional, especially the mac and cheese, which was one of the best I have ever sampled. Our steaks were also perfectly cooked, tender and tasty.

Full and happy, we took our time over dessert, finally deciding to share the lemon verbena posset with poached cherries and fennel biscotti and the champagne and strawberry jelly Eton mess. Both were refreshing and light while still feeling decadent – the perfect end to a fantastic meal. We will both definitely be returning.

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