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“Basic interior but not quite a shed, lovely food”
Review of The Company Shed

The Company Shed
Ranked #39 of 517 Restaurants in Colchester
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Reservations
Reviewed June 1, 2013

Our visit was unplanned and we were surprised how busy The Shed was on a weekday. We had to wait 30 minutes for space at a communal table but it was well worth it. The grilled prawns were lovely, the oysters were very good even though May is not the best time for oysters. The side salad was enormous, very fresh, with excellent vinaigrette. House wine was OK and inexpensive. The staff were very friendly. The only drawback is that no card are accepted and as our visit was not pre-planned we were short of cash so did not eat enough! Also you need to bring your own bread and we did not but I managed to persuade a charming chap at a table nearby to part with his left over rolls! So remember: bring cash and bread!

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Thank Ania1946
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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526 - 530 of 684 reviews

Reviewed May 28, 2013

To enjoy this experience at its best you need to know what you're letting yourself in for. It is, as the title suggests, a shed! The tables are not pristine, the crockery and cutlery variable and you have to bring your own bread (although they do serve drinks now). If you go as a couple, you will have to share a table and listen to other people's conversation whether you want to or not.
Getting a table is a bit of a mission too - if you turn up too early you will get a table - but who wants to eat seafood at 11 o'clock in the morning. If you turn up too late, you will not get a table at all. We found that getting there about 11.30 means that you can put your name on the list then go for an appetite enhancing stroll for about an hour before returning to find your table almost ready.
So why have I given it 5 stars? Simply because the food is so fresh, beautifully cooked and reasonably priced that none of the above matters. The lobsters are so fresh, you can chat to them on your way to the toilet and the scallops with bacon are absolutely beautiful - sweet, juicy and tender.
In conclusion; time your visit right (don't forget to check the tides), be prepared to be flexible and hope your neighbours aren't too noisy and be prepared to eat some of the best seafood you have ever tasted!

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1  Thank Barbara L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2013

We knew exactly what expect at the company shed, so two friends decided to drive down for 11am to put our names down for a table, which we got at 2pm. So there was a LONG waiting time for people who rocked up , but Mersea is nice in the sunshine so we had a few drinks at The Victory. At 2pm we walked to Company Shed and happened to meet two more friends, who were trying to get a table. The staff allowed us to add the two new friends to our table for 7, which was great.

We ordered Oysters, Tiger Prawns, unpeeled prawns, crabs, mjussels, cod roe and washed this down with our BYO wine and various breads. You help yourself to cutlerly, glasses and the whole experience works well. You have to queue to place your food orders, and the queue was long.

Recommend the grilled seafood with cheese, cream and breadcrumb toppings. I am not a seafood lover, but I managed to try a bit of everything and ate the bread we brought, My husband tucked in and really enjoyed it. Next time I would bring some more accompanyments for our meal, various other breads, dips, olives and some cheese to make it more satisfying. price was spot on £15 per person.

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Thank Caroline S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2013

We had heard how difficult it is to get a table at this place but had also heard that the food and atmosphere is excellent so were determined to get in.

We had been advised that it is good to get there early and put your name on the waiting list for a table later in the day so we turned up at 11:20 to be told that we could other eat immediately ( we were not ready to eat that early) or come back in half an hour to put our names on the waiting list)

Came back at 12:00 and given 2:15 as our time to eat, later than we wanted but we accepted that it was that or nothing.

Had a lovely time crabbing on the quay , took a boat ride and had a nice drink at a nearby pub before returning at 2:15.

We queued for 10 minutes just to check in and were told to wait outside for our name to be called. By 2:45 I was ready to give up and go home. The kids were getting restless, I was getting grumpy but husband was determined!

We were finally seated at 3pm but then had to queue once again to order our food. We ordered two cooked dishes and two cold. My grilled scallops arrived fairly promptly but the rest of the food took ages and we had to chase it up. I had finished my meal long before everyone else's had arrived.

My scallops were lacking in flavour, no sign of the thyme and butter they were supposed be cooked in, and they were chewy.
Husband said that his sea food platter was fresh and very good but not sure it was any better than anything he could have picked up much more easily at one of our local cockle sheds in Leigh-on-Sea.

We won't be returning and could not recommend this restaurant as we feel that they treat their customers appallingly.

Thank DMGIrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2013

I have read a few of the reviews on here and thought I should put my oar in. The table are not very clean, the staff are not exactly going to get work at Claridges and the decor will not win any awards. But we were a group of 9 people and to all be fed with 36 Oysters to start and then enough plates of shell fish and sea food to fill up 5 large blokes and 4 not large woman cost us £11 each. Ok you have to take your own drink but that is what keeps the price down. I can't say about the cut off time for food and I would think that a family type place like this should be flexible a little but dare I say, you get what you pay for in this world and if you can find anywhere else where you pay 75p for an oyster, please let me know.

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Thank Alistair78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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