Saturday, 23 April 2022

The Shed, Barry restaurant review 2022

It’s somewhat flown under the radar but earlier this year James Sommerin parted company with The Shed restaurant in Barry.

Now, Jim and Rhiannon Dobson, the husband and wife team who previously ran the award-winning Fox and Hounds in Llancarfan, are managing the business.

Whilst Jim heads up the kitchen, Rhiannon runs front of house with warmth and enthusiasm. And despite the change in personnel, it’s a case of evolution rather than revolution when it comes to The Shed’s menu.

There’s still very much a focus on comforting flavour combinations executed with classical technique. On our visit we were pleased to see both a chicken kiev, filled with ’nduja, and a seasonal soufflé still on the menu.

To start, a big bowlful of roast onion velouté (£8.50) delivered on its promise of cockle-warming decadence. Hugely savoury and delicately sweet with a good glug of cream, it avoided being too rich thanks to its beautifully silky and light texture.

Perched on the side, a lux sourdough crouton was topped with melted smoked cheddar, sweet red onion jam and the zing of pickled shallots.

The other starter, a golden salt cod fish cake (£9.50), was all thriller and no filler. Loaded with flakes of meaty cod it was stacked amongst a blob of piquant smokey paprika mayo, a disk of crispy chorizo and a light and cleansing fennel salad.

For main, a crisp-skinned fillet of bass (£21) teased apart into large flakes with the merest nudge. A rich and buttery sauce with the aromatic warmth of pink peppercorn, briny samphire and golden gnarly nuggets of Jerusalem artichoke were all bang on accompaniments. I’d have gladly demolished a mountain of the crispy artichokes with a bowl of the sauce.

Every element of a Middle Eastern inspired duck dish (£20.50) was packed with flavour from a crisp-skinned breast topped with dukkah, an earthy spiced mix of seeds and nuts, to a dainty pastilla stuffed with soft shreds of slow-cooked duck meat. 

Warming spiced carrot puree, sweet and tangy date puree and a glossy meat sauce completed the big flavoured dish. It was only a minor quibble but the duck breast could have been a touch pinker and more tender.

Sides were all on point. Triple-cooked chips (£5.25), spiked with savoury parmesan and funky truffle, were commendably crisp and fluffy.

Tenderstem broccoli (£4.25), with just the right amount of bite, was lightly dressed with a vibrant almond pesto.

A bowl of fudgy roast carrots (£4.25) were drizzled with honey and fragranced with rosemary.

Somehow resisting the soufflé for dessert, I plumped for the forced rhubarb pavlova (£9.50). The light and airy soft-centred meringue was topped with a vanilla-scented whipped custard that was a canny twist on the usual cream. Sweet and sharp forced rhubarb pieces and chunks of throat-tickling and slightly boozy ginger wine jelly completed the excellent pud.

A slab of light and squidgy nut-studded sticky toffee pudding (£9.75) was well-drenched in toasty toffee sauce and served with smooth and airy vanilla ice cream and crunchy pecan praline. Extra sauce was left in a jug at the table and it certainly came in handy because it’s the kind of thing you can never have enough of.

We had a cracker of a meal at The Shed. Whilst it’s all change with the personnel, they still serve the kind of food I could eat time and time again.

The Details:

Address - The Shed, Hood Rd, Barry CF62 5BE
Telephone - 01446 737458

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