Less than a generation ago, Kings Cross was typified by post-industrial degradation, notoriously unsavoury behaviour and its one redeeming feature; the historic St Pancras station. Now, following Argent’s extensive regeneration, the transport hub is fast becoming the most relevant shopping and leisure destination in the capital. At the heart of this sits The Coal Office Restaurant, a creative collaboration between British Designer Tom Dixon and renowned Chef Assaf Granit. Assaf’s idea was to deconstruct the kitchen, with cooking and prepping across three floors, and with everybody involved in cooking – from waiters to guests themselves.
The result? A dining playground which is half kitchen, half dining. Each guest at the Coal Office is witness to an entirely different engaging experience beyond just eating.With such names involved, my expectations for the restaurant were understandably high. And in reality? Brilliant. It would be easy for such a combination to feel formulaic and forced, a “best of the best” scenario where the individual brilliance of the architects supersedes the finished article, which may lack chemistry and authenticity. But not here.
The design is of course beautiful and innovative but it’s the sympathy to the history of the building that really hits the mark. The food explores exciting flavours in a menu that celebrates modern Meditterranean cuisine (personal favourites include Ironed Chicken and Shikshukit). With each dish being carefully explained by a team of passionate and knowledgeable staff, this restaurant/showroom hybrid manifests in a wonderful dining experience that sees design and culinary flair work seamlessly together.