Restaurant Review: Coal Office, Kings Cross

By Martha Davies

1 month ago

Get ready for a feast


Looking for somewhere to eat in Kings Cross? Coal Office should be at the top of your list, says Martha Davies.

Review: Coal Office, Coal Drops Yard, Kings Cross

Small plates and sharing menus – is there anything better? Both offer the kind of culinary experience that leads to being asked, as I was recently at Coal Office, ‘how hungry are you?’ when you are perhaps six dishes down and beginning to forget what hunger feels like. 

Of course, there is no better feeling that comes after eagerly devouring whatever is placed in front of you, and it’s particularly easy to do this at Coal Office, a joint venture between restaurateur Assaf Granit and designer Tom Dixon. The menu weaves together flavours and traditions from Jerusalem, the Middle East and the Mediterranean, with a dinner offering that’s split into three sections: small plates, large plates, and ‘in between’. Really, though, you’ll just want to order it all.

Assaf Granit and Tom Dixon, with a spread of Middle Eastern dishes in front of them.

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We were seated at the counter, allowing us a front row view of the action as the chefs expertly prepared each dish. (If you’re a fan of The Bear, it might feel akin to watching an entire season play out live – minus the nail-biting stress and the profanities, but very much including the show-stopping food).  After choosing a cocktail (the Rimonana Mezcal offers the perfect pomegranate-infused tequila kick, while the ultra-refreshing Basilkum Smash is a superbly zingy, gin-based tipple), we swiftly decided to leave our fate in the hands of the chefs, who were more than happy to provide their recommendations. Many, many recommendations.

The pita salad was the perfect place to begin, offering a brilliant combination of fresh herbs and rocket, tart pomegranate seeds, and crunchy pita pieces, all drizzled with creamy labneh (strained yogurt). From there, we moved onto the aubergine tartare, a particularly incredible dish showcasing three different types of the humble vegetable: roasted, pureed and raw. This was followed by romano zucchini (scattered with pistachios and served with more labneh) and a taste of Coal Office’s glorious signature dish: asparagus, truffle oil, polenta and Parmesan.

Already rather stuffed, it was at this point that hunger began to feel like a foreign, frankly laughable concept. Yet we ploughed ahead – straight into a spectacular bluefin tuna dish and an equally incredible platter of grilled octopus, which was served with Yemeni fried pancakes (genius) and topped with truffle, pomegranate and radish to create the perfect mix of earthy and vibrant flavours. Paired with a glass of Vinho Verde (a lovely Portuguese white wine) it went down a treat.

Brioche, flatbreads and cheese dips on a marble table.

Zodee Media

With empty plates piled high around us, we had by now surrendered any sense of decorum to a hedonism-induced slump, but we were far from finished. Rousing ourselves for the final act of the night, we sampled passion fruit wine (an Israeli speciality) before tucking into dessert: dark chocolate mousse with maldon salt (divine), baklava (brilliant) and a failsafe pistachio ice cream. By now we could quite comfortably assume (or uncomfortably, depending on you look at it) that we might never be hungry again – but after a meal this good, it was most definitely worth it.

THE FINAL WORD

You can’t go wrong with this exceptional menu – especially if you’re guided by Coal Office’s wonderful team. And if they ask whether you want more, the answer is always yes.

BOOK IT

2 Bagley Walk, Kings Cross, London N1C 4PQ. coaloffice.com