So a pre-birthday treat with a friend and one of the few restos out the back of Kings Cross that I haven’t yet been to. So far it’s been a pretty high quality experience so how does Vinoteca measure up to the competition.
Well, first up it’s housed in one of my favourite new buildings in London. A David Chipperfield masterpiece (at least on the visual/tactile side of things – or should I say sculpturally) from the outside, what was it like inside? Good, busy even on a Monday evening with barely space at the bar and all tables occupied. The vibe is more rustic than expected and despite the buzz of conversation and music it wasn’t too noisy to have a tête à tête.
We warmed up with a ginking (some kind of fizzywater-gin combination) while waiting for the table to come free. A refreshing way to kick off and not too alcoholic (for one of us at least). The menu is classic bistro stuff and I only had eyes for the fish. There was a wrangle about who would have the hake and who would have the sole. I had the sole but the hake was off so it was a sea bream across from me.
Distracted by conversation I forgot that sole can be a fiddly beast and took a mouthful of spindles along with my fishflesh. Not very elegant. The fish was cooked perfectly though and the samphire and stuff that came along with it was deliciously salty-sea flavoured too. I only wish that I’d been alerted to the fact that I had ordered NO STODGE. I had an absence of stodge and my stomach was rebelling.
So for dessert I had a Bakewell Tart – a generous slab of the almondy stuff with some cream ((? ) Can’t remember what it was, I’m not very good at identifying sweet things) on top. It could have done with a bit better balance between the dry and moist elements on the plate. Fortunately I had a good sized portion of French dessert wine to help it down and it did so very well.
Vinoteca match food to drinks on the menu and I was happy to trust their expertise, which turned out to be spot on. I liked the service too – attentive when necessary and friendly. It’s the kind of place I’d be happy to go back to with a bunch of friends and try out a few more wines in company.
#food #london #kingscross
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Blue Badge guide to London and academic specialising in early twentieth century history. Blogging on history, academia, and food and culture in the capital (and occasionally elsewhere).