We remember the days when Kings Cross was a pretty sketchy area. Only the bravest, drunkest and most debauched would venture there seeking sinful pleasures. Mrs Flavour and I recently took a staggered walk down memory lane. As the Saturday afternoon prosecco bathed our senses, we headed to the recently reinvigorated and rather snazzy Coal Drop Yard area of Kings Cross for pleasures of the culinary kind. We’d heard great things about Coal Office, a beautiful marriage of food and design created by chef Assaf Granit and Tom Dixon, designer extraordinaire. It more than lived up to the hype!
As to be expected, the restaurant’s design was impeccably tasteful. A long space of highly polished surfaces, marbled tables and melt pendant lights placed just out of reach of my clumsy forehead. We sat near the open kitchen, listening as the chefs bantered with the friendly, uber-cool table staff. We ordered more fizz and awaited the arrival of our good friends, whose tall statures made us even more nervous that the price of a broken designer light might be added to our bill.
Chef Granit has created an exciting menu of Middle Eastern / Modern Mediterranean dishes designed for sharing. With our handsome buddies in tow, we gorged our way through a selection of beautiful courses which blended familiar flavours with first time tastes. The Lions Gate Pretzel with green harissa and dry za’atar was a treat which vanished in seconds. Its comfortingly warm seeded texture paired nicely with the exotic accompaniments. Mrs Flavour raved over the Chicken Musakhan. This artistically stacked meaty structure came bathed in spiced lentils and a tangy yoghurt sauce. Its heavenly flavour caused sparks to fly as our battling forks clashed to claim the last morsel. The Josperized Aubergine and fluffy Manakish pizza were also wonderful. Our meal was made even better by our charming waitress, and her talent for keeping the drinks flowing at the perfect pace, right up until the Limoncello shots.
Feeling deeply satisfied by our experience, we bid drunken farewells to the restaurant staff and headed for the exit. Historically, anyone stumbling around Kings Cross half-cut would unlikely arrive home with their wallet intact. Nowadays, Tom Dixon has a posh store directly under his restaurant, and while Mrs Flavour’s back was turned, I somehow managed to blow £65 of our hard-earned cash on a fancy candle. I guess some things never change. We’d better get saving for our next visit.