With the road not due to be flooded till 3:30 we aimed to arrive at The Shed around 2pm thinking that the lunch time rush might be over by then and fortunately it was. It also helped that it was November and 7 degrees outside, well off peak season. That said, it was still quite busy and most surprising was a table of half a dozen young Japanese tourists; as Jay Rayner said in his 2007 review for The Guardian, this may be a gem but it's hardly hidden. But international stature? The answer it seems is yes. How's that for a restaurant worth a detour (Michelin take note).
Jay Rayner had to queue for 45 mins to get a seat (you put your name on the board and wait till it's called out apparently) while others have talked about a one and a half hour wait around midday. Fortunately, off lunch off peak means we can walk in and sit right down. Oh, and as other reviews suggest, this is indeed a shed like building so is aptly named - it's not irony.
Also, as well noted elsewhere, the inside is basic, though plastic tablecloths seem to be an upgrade from no tablecloths of a year or two ago but it's still a bring your own bottle affair (with zero corkage) if you fancy a drink. What they do provide are: knives, forks, crackers, plates, glasses, garlic mayo, tabasco, vinegar, a mignonette (on request), lemon wedges and paper towels. Water is available to buy by the bottle. And, our value add since we've read it nowhere else, they do have a WC, something which we were both pleased about after the drive. When a place is deservedly called the shed, you can't assume.
The crevette was fantastic, a firmly textured body but also so fresh and clean while the cockles had only the tiniest grit and were a delight with a splash of vinegar. The prawns likewise with a splash of lemon as the palate clears on the acidity before the essence of prawn hits. We found the smoked fish the 'odd fish out' on the plate as everything else here benefited from being so fresh but some of the real gain of eating quayside fish is surely lost in smoking which of course has its origins as a preservative.
Related links: Billingsgate fish market
Return to homepage