Monday, 7 October 2013

Shrimpy's (King's Cross) - the outdoor grill bar


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Address: King's Cross Filling Station,
Goods Way, London N1C 4UR
Phone: 020 8880 6111
Nearest Tube station:
King's Cross

Ratings (out of 5 *)
Price: below £10
Service charge: N/A
Taste: **
Service: ***
Ambience: **
King's Cross is unrecognisable to a visitor who has last been just a couple of years ago. A two day carnival marks the £500 million revamp coming to a close, King's Cross is now open for business.

Not only do existing nearby properties shoot up in value, new private residential developments are popping up like mushrooms. They aren't short of buyers either - Chinese parents are paying cash for them the moment the flats go onto the market. They are perfect for their only child studying in Central St Martins College of Art & Design.

Things are looking up along Regents Canal as well. Tracts of disused land are now filled with construction sites; spanking new apartments are expected in the next year or so. Even petrol stations are not spared. One right across Guardian's Kings Place office is now converted to a restaurant. Shrimpy's, which enjoys a canal side setting, has a indoor full service restaurant as well as an outdoor grill and drinks counter.

The large outdoor area with long benches and all would have been perfect for a cool beer. Pity it is a bit too early for that when I stop by for a spot of lunch. The place looks a bit lacklustre with just four items on the menu, two of which are tortas (essentially burgette with fillings). A grilled corn and a "seafood bucket" that I hope taste better than it sounds are the other two. The waitress at the counter assures me that "there is a full menu in the restaurant".

The weather isn't brilliant but it seems a waste to be cooped up indoor when it isn't raining. My expectation of the English weather has stooped to a new low. That is how I ended up with a tortas and a corn.

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For the uninitiated, a tortas is a Mexican crusty sandwich roll (pretty much like the Vietnamese bahn mi. Shrimpy's fish and pork tortas (£7) is mostly pork with lined with lettuce, diced avocado and slivers of fish. While it makes a good snack but it tastes oddly unfulfilling - the pork is under-seasoned and the spicy sauce is underwhelming.

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The Cotija corn's (£3.50) name confuses me. I'm wondering whether the corn actually comes from Cotija or is the corn coated with Cotija cheese. But it comes with a cheesy spread with coriander and mild chilli sprinkled on it. The kernels come off easily but I thought the corn could have spent a longer time on the grill. The corn tastes more like steamed than grilled.

Not exactly a satisfying meal but I guess Shrimpy's outdoor area is really more for drinks than anything else. Perhaps its "full menu" in its restaurant is a better bet after all.


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