The best new restaurants in London’s King’s Cross

London’s latest ambitious regeneration project, Coal Drops Yard, is about to be fully unveiled to the public (though some venues have already opened). We’re promised a swanky selection of more than 60 experimental pop-ups, entertainment, retail and office spaces that aim to inject the area around King’s Cross Station with a whole new lease of life.

Coal Drops Yard - named in homage to the surviving Victorian buildings dramatically reinvented for the new site - is bold, beautiful and eschews the ubiquitous slew of high street brands. If you’re familiar with the architectural designs of Thomas Heatherwick Studio, whose large-scale projects in cities all over the world aim to improve urban living, you’d expect nothing less. Just a stone’s throw from Central Saint Martin’s 21st century premises in Granary Square, and Heatherwick Google’s soon-to-be London Headquarters, Coal Drops Yard will also be a hotspot for fine dining.
 
Barrafina
Barrafina is considered to be one of London’s most authentic Spanish tapas bars – its Soho address even acquired a Michelin star in 2014. Prepare for the fourth and largest Barrafina to descend on Coal Drops Yard, with 34 covers and a vast outdoor terrace big enough for 60. There are strong Catalan influences on the menu, including star dishes such as arroz negro with Iberian pork ribs and artichokes; espardenyes (sea cucumber) with chicken oysters and picada, and a cazuela of pig’s trotter and prawns. The Hart brothers behind Barrafina at Quo Vadis don’t stop there, as they also open two other dining venues on this new development, Casa Pastor and The Drop.
 
Casa Pastor
The larger sibling to Mexican venue El Pastor, in London’s south London Borough neighbourhood, Casa Pastor is as a far cry from the usual high street Mexican fare. If you love your taco fresh and full of flavour, you’re in for a treat, and expect plenty of authentic additions to the menu with tortas, churros and even an area devoted to rotisserie dishes.
 
The Drop
Named after the colloquial term for a small measure of wine, and the moment before the beat “drops” in a massive dance tune, The Drop is a wine bar with a difference, combining the energy of a social hotspot with the cool sophistication of a high-end contemporary restaurant, serving British classics with a twist. With space for 55 covers inside, and a smaller outdoor terrace with 24 covers, The Drop looks set to be a well-frequented venue.
 
Coal Office
Legendary chef Assaf Granit, the man behind The Palomar and The Barbary, comes into his own with London designer Tom Dixon. Granit and Dixon get to play with design and food at Coal Office. Striking shapes, large windows, and industrial textures married with plush materials have Tom Dixon’s signature running right through them. The visual feast frames an inventive selection of Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Jerusalem-derived traditions, courtesy of Granit. The menu is a delight, peppered with colourful, wholesome sharing platters, delectable polentas, Kingfish sashimi, beef fillet with black chickpea stew and poached egg. The tempting dessert list includes grapefruit and verbena sorbet, and tahini ice cream.   
 
Hicce
Pip Lacey, formerly the head chef of Murano, is opening her first solo venture in Wolf & Badger. Hicce will focus on the wood fire techniques of grilling, smoking and steaming British produce and the menu promises homemade rye bread with cheeses, cured meats and fish, and yakitori cooked over oak charcoal. Local beers take pride of place on the drinks list, along with cocktails, and a short selection of biodynamic and organic wines.
 
Vermuteria
This will be an all-day restaurant serving Spanish and Catalan dishes from Anthony Demetre, the owner of Mayfair’s much revered Wild Honey. The new venue will recreate the atmosphere of the ‘vermuteria’ bars most popular in Barcelona.
 
Also worth noting:
 
Le Chocolat
 
Alain Ducasse is one of the most famous chefs in the world, beaten only by Joël Robuchon when it comes to Michelin stars – Ducasse currently has 21 to Robuchon’s 31. Alain Ducasse is also a chocolate master whose ideas are created by Nicolas Berger. Ducasse tends to work across three families of flavour: ganache, praline and truffles, each one layered with contrasting textures and flavours. There’s something for every chocolate lover, and Le Chocolat prizes single-origin ingredients of the finest order. Coal Drops Yard’s site is the first to open in the UK.
 
Open for business and noteworthy in the nearby district of Granary Square district:
 
Granary Square, Ivy Brasserie
1-3 Stable Street, London, N1C 4AB
The latest venture from The Ivy Collective brings its trademark style to the area.  Art Deco parquet floors, low brass tables and frosted glass panels are magically juxtaposed with oversized chandeliers, 18th century ornithological prints and exposed brickwork and pipes. It all works beautifully, and the setting feels as relaxed as it does elegant. The customary all-day dining includes sumptuous breakfasts with freshly pressed juices, eggs prepared any way you desire, smoked salmon on rye with crab, smashed avocado and grapefruit, and buttered kippers. The dinner menu is a modern British affair, with a smattering of Middle Eastern dishes. Be sure to save room for a dessert. The only tricky bit is picking from star turns such as chocolate bombe with honeycomb centre, cherry ice cream sundae with pistachio, or flourless cappuccino cakes.
 
The Lighterman
3 Granary Square, London, N1C 4BH
This pub and restaurant is fabulously located, flanked as it is by Granary Square on one side and Regent’s Canal on the other. The modern British all-day and weekend brunch menus are bursting with seasonal and sustainable produce. There’s a good choice of salads, spelt flour flatbread, aged beef burgers and wood-fire grilled dishes.
 
Coal Drops Yard opens on Friday 26th October 2018 at Stable Street, London N1C 4AB. For more information on these and other fine-dining venues in the King’s Cross area, please contact your Lifestyle Manager.