We were in Kings Cross for the Pablo Held Trio gig at Kings Place. If you haven’t seen the PBT and you like jazz you MUST SEE THEM! I’m not usually so passionate about recommending things to people as I’m of the nature of not being very good at receiving gushy enthusals. But they are extraordinarily good. And from Cologne, a place of which I have very fond memories.
Beforehand we were looking for Indian food but not at Dishoom. The food is excellent in Dishoom but you’re very aware of being served at the hands of a very high quality, mass volume outfit. And when people start taking their suitcases to restaurants its time for the full time resident to find an alternative.
Most Indian outfits in KX do not inspire confidence from the outside. But Rusty Bike is different. It looks like whoever’s in charge has an eye on design and wants to minimise the shab. So we went in.
It’s a small room and at first we were the only customers. We’d BOOB from Waitrose and I asked the guy if that was okay. He gave me a suspicious look and didn’t really reply so I took his silence as assent. When he came along with the menus I asked him for a couple of glasses for the wine which he went off and got.
“You just finished your GCSEs?” he asked my son like in a squinty-eyed spaghetti western-style scrute. My son is 21 (I think! I lose track sometimes.)
‘Last year at uni.’
This didn’t register.
‘That near Manchester?’
‘No, it’s in Conventry.’
‘Oh, Coventry. You like Coventry, it’s nice yeah?’
We wondered if he was familiar with Coventry.
‘Coventry … that’s Birmingham right?’
‘Yeah, near there.’
This seemed to reassure him and he left us to look at the menu. It is extensive and featured a few things that I liked the look of. We had mixed starters to share and then lamb shashlik, a duck thing and bindhi bhaji. Unlike at the India Club he was happy to sell us a chapati so we took one of them with a plain naan.*
The food was excellent. Succulent meat and proper spicing on the carnivorous side of things but if you’re a veggie I can recommend the bindhi, it was superb. By the time we left the room was filling up. Despite his slight hostility at the outset I liked the waiter. He reminded me of King Baba in his willingness to engage customers in disjointed, slightly surreal conversation. At around fifteen quid a head the Rusty Bike deserves to thrive.
#Food #London #PabloHeld
To see where else I’ve eaten go to the GoogleMap
*The last time we went to the India Club we asked for chapatis and the waiter wouldn’t sell them to us as ‘they take too long to cook’. Which is unusual.
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).