The Shed - Notting Hill Gate

Picture taken from the Shed website 
The lovely Miss Clapton was back from her time off to explore Africa (lucky duck) after a long slog of learning Law. Within days of her return it was her birthday and therefore a hugely needed catch up and gift exchange was in the diary for this week. 

We settled on booking 2 places on 2 separate evenings, Monday and Wednesday, due to her being a lawyer and those in the world of law know, dates and times cannot always be kept. So this was the best way of 'locking her in'.

'The Shed' has been hugely blogged, written and talked about recently and considering it only opened towards the back end of last year it has somewhat of a fantastic reputation. Ran by two (rather saucy) brothers, one front of house, the other firing up the burners in the kitchen. It's a great atmosphere from the minute you step in (if a little hot!).

The menu is made up of plates set at £7-10 which they encourage you to 'share' and advise that 2 people should have around 5 plates between them from the 'fast' and 'slow' cooking options. Like most places, I found myself in a dilemma and basically wanted everything on offer bar a sultana dish (although I could be converted!). So we had approximately 21 dishes to choose from. Hmmmmm...

The restaurant is super cute, nestled just off Notting Hill Gate you'll find a somewhat tranquil and unexpectedly cosy venue which serves up some pretty outstanding food. We were sat at bar style seating upon some tractor-seat stools- far comfier than they sound! The whole venue displays farmyard memorabilia, the main bar at the front houses a whole tractor bonnet to sit under and a large John Deere sign adorned the walls behind us along with rustic paintings, furniture and the staff wear relaxed clothing with beaming smiles. I already like this place... 

Miss C ordered their 'daily loosener' which was a cocktail (not a laxative as it may sound!). This consisted of Chase Vodka, Blood orange, Rhubarb and Mint, nice and refreshing. I, a glass of their home-grown 'Nutty sparkling wine' - they own a vineyard in Nutbourne. This was delicious and very, very drinkable! 

The thirst quenchers helping us with our decisions, we decided on trying some of the 'mouthfuls' which are individual bite sized starters for £1.50 each. 

Firstly the Beetroot crisp, goats cheese and pear jam. A great texture combination and also flavour. Another one to add to the canapé ideas!

Rabbit spring roll, a great sign of things to come. A really clever little amuse bouche. The rabbit was super succulent and the flavour that was packed into this little parcel of light pastry was absolutely amazing. It also looked rather awesome too. Both of these were excellent value.

We then went onto our main dishes... the waiter puts your chosen dishes through to the kitchen as he deems right, so usually lighter ones come through first etc. 

Scallop, smoked cauliflower, Kale, red onion, mint and mussels was the first dish out. Cooked perfectly the scallops went really well with the lightly smoked cauliflower purée. The kale added a nice depth of iron to the dish and the onion and mussels acted as a chunky relish to give a crunch and some acidity. Super little starter dish - my only issue was that being a 'sharing plate' why give 3 scallops?!  

Next up was the winner of the evening for both of us, Hake, wild garlic, leek, potato and salsify. We started scoffing this dish before I took the photo hence it looking a little 'eaten', oops. The veggies were in 2 forms, an incredibly smooth mash consistency and also cubed. This sat underneath a well cooked, good portion, of delicious crispy skinned hake. What really stood out on this dish, was the wild garlic flowers which had been fried gently so that they were crispy and really, really enjoyable to eat. 

Veal pattie, Tahini Honey yoghurt, pistachio and mustard leaves was our first carnivorous meal of the evening. These packed a juicy punch and were a welcome hearty addition to the meal. I actually could quite happily pop back for a plate of these at lunch. 

When entering the restaurant, there was scrawled on the blackboard that 'delicious spring lamb' was now on. Encouraged by this we ordered Lamb chips, parsley, lemon and harissa. Two large fish fingers appeared and once bitten into they had the most amazing flavour. The lamb was sweet and super tender, when plonked into the African sauce another dimension was added of spice and zingy-ness.

Feeling as though we should eat our 5 a day, we settled on our final dish which was spring greens, shallots and a mushroom dressing. The shallots were soft and caramelised and went really well against the earthy mushroom. As a side dish, this was super tasty and definitely a combination to try at home. 

Overall? A fantastic meal, incredible locally sourced produce cooked exactly how they say it is - 'with flair and fun'. 

122 Palace Gardens Terrace  London W8 4RT, 020 7229 4024. Walk ins welcome. 

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