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New year resolutions eh. My inbox is flooded by restaurant veganuary invites (I'm ignoring you all), #dryjanuary is in full swing, my social feeds are promoting every diet under the sun and I'll be joined by tens of extra runners on the hills that will tail off before February, leaving me on my own again. (Great, because deep down, I really hate people.) But in amongst all that is somewhat of a backlash with #NewYearTrueMe and endless self love memes. Wince-worthy maybe, but I'm all for this new antidote to this month long macro guilt and pressure. Enjoy yourself in moderation all year round I say. Eat that cake, order those fries, drink the wine...and savour this gratuitous plate of meat. For breakfast.
I've been drooling at the pictures of The Coal Shed's brunch menu on the social media feeds. Headline act is of course this Surf n' Turf and in the flesh, it still commands a gasp.
And knowing what awaited me, I had purposely starved myself short of an espresso, rolling into the freshly refurbished restaurant at noon ravenous. Being a Saturday also made it entirely permissible to order cocktails - plural. Hell, let your hair down love.
It kind of feels like stage fright, the pause of not knowing where to start, but the plump, soft mussels cooked with nduja seemed a good a place as any quickly followed by the tiger prawns and scallop and pork belly skewers.
The flavour of the maple-cured Tamworth bacon chop, king of chops, was immense and a smart addition to make the dish more breakfast, along with the two fried eggs and smoked black pudding. However, when I think of The Coal Shed, I think steak and the salt aged sirloin didn't disappoint. The charcoal grills give the meat those delicious charred edges and undeniable smokey flavour whilst sealing in all that juicy goodness.
There's plenty of choice for your two sides; crisp, slightly charred broccoli with garlic and chilli or an iceberg wedge with blue cheese and stilton for a bit of greenery. For those blasé about carbs or mortally hungover; beef dripping chips, truffle mac n’ cheese or mash with burnt ends. I chose one from each camp. Balance innit.
At £32.50 per head the Surf n' Turf platter may be at the top end of what you'd normally spend on brunch (lighter options are available) but along with hearty portions, quality is paramount here, so confident in both their produce and cooking, that they don't shy away from simplicity. Thoroughly enjoyed, I don't know of a more luxurious, or decadent brunch in this city.
And this ethos is evident throughout all their menus, wine selection and cocktails. The new decor is elegant, as moody and sexy as ever, a good eye for taste and refinement but still on-brand for an upmarket steakhouse and date night gold.
God, I need that run now though.
Brunch served Saturdays only 11am-4pm, alongside the a la carte menu.
The Coal Shed
8 Boyce's Street
Brighton BN1 1AN
One Tower Bridge
London SE1 2SE
I dined as a guest of The Coal Shed. Words and thoughts, as always, my own.