The welcome: The Lighterman’s certainly situated in an eye-catching location a short distance north of King’s Cross, adjoining the Regent’s Canal and boasting impressive views over St Pancras and north London. It’s certainly one of the best buildings in the area, allowing diners to imagine that they’re in some grand continental boulevard. Staff are friendly, efficient and have the attitude of people used to dealing with large numbers of covers on a daily basis.
The room: this two-storey behemoth is certainly large, with the ground floor offering no bookings service, and even something of a pubby feel; unsurprising, perhaps, as the owners also run the estimable Cubitt group of pubs and restaurants around Belgravia. Upstairs is a more established, although no more formal, dining room, with the sort of relaxed wood panelling that made us think of Sweden. If it’s a nice day, a spot on the outdoor terrace is likely to be highly coveted.
The food: the starters that we tried, toasted brioche with mushrooms and poached egg and baked goat’s cheese, were fine but somehow unexciting; we felt that the chef’s talent probably lay elsewhere; the executive chef here, Diego Cardoso, is a veteran of Murano. So it proved, with a spectacularly good rib of beef to share. At 700g, it’s easily enough for all but the most gluttonous, and comes with a range of sauces and sides that range from the comfortingly familiar (béarnaise, something involving baby gem lettuce) to the more adventurous; the chimichurri gives it an unexpected kick. Desserts are also a highlight; a concoction of cream cheese and white chocolate with honeycomb and strawberries has all the delight of an Eton mess with none of the gooeyness, and a highly recommended special, a riot of strawberry and ice cream, was the perfect summer treat, at least until the heavens opened.
All this is very reasonably priced (starters all sub-£10, main courses mostly well south of £20, puddings at £6) and backed up by a decent wine list, which features a few unusual vintages and countries at far from ridiculous cost.
Would we go again: King’s Cross has plenty of other delights that we still need to try, but for a casual lunch or dinner with friends, this would be hard to beat.
|What||The Lighterman, King's Cross|
|Where||The Lighterman, 3 Granary Square, King's Cross , London , N1C 4BH | MAP|
|Nearest tube||King's Cross St. Pancras (underground)|
09 Jun 16 – 17 Feb 17, 12:00 PM – 11:00 PM
|Website||Click here to book a table|