Restaurant Review: The Fellow, N1

Jon Dean tests out a Michelin Guide listed pub in King’s Cross

�The relentless gentrification of King’s Cross seems to be akin to a force of nature. It wasn’t so many years ago that the area was associated with vice and dingy clubs pumping loud music all night long.

Now its the home of international rail travel, multi-million pound art colleges and more cafes than you can shake a stick at.

More importantly for food lovers, it now boasts an impressive array of culinary-savvy pubs. None more so than The Fellow, on York Way, which may well be the king of these newcomers.

There’s no denying it, The Fellow is a touch of class.


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Elegantly decorated and with an impressive outside terrace, it has just been recommended in the Michelin Pub Guide for food for the second year running.

We popped in on a Wednesday and were glad we booked as the place was pretty much full, with a nice murmur of conversation and the clinking of glasses creating a congenial atmosphere.

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We asked for a pot of the plumb juicy olives and a bottle of Pinot Noir and had a look at the carte. The menu relies on seasonal produce and so changes regularly, game and hearty dishes featuring heavily on our visit.

Satisfying

To begin we had grilled sardines, seasoned with coriander and full of fresh Mediterranean flavour.

The bones made eating them a bit of a challenge for my clumsy fingers, however.

We also had the veal pasties, which while very palatable had quite dense pasty and a disappointingly bland relish.

On to the mains, and the duck was one of my top 10 dishes of the year.

The expertly cooked pink breast was succulent, rich and full with a satisfying crisp skin. Served in a jus heady with red wine and balsamic depth and some devilishly creamy dauphinoise potatoes, it was worth the entry fee alone.

Not to disparage the lamb, which was also juicy, rare and tender. I generally avoid mint sauce, but the minty salsa verdi was edgy enough for me.

The cubes of herb-laden carrot and sweet potato were a fine accompaniment, if a touch sweet for my palette.

More to my taste were the fantastic buttery new spuds, which were fluffy with a good crunch to the outside.

For the sweet course we chose and apple crumble which, if you will pardon the cliche, was just like my nan used to make – with cinnamon and big chunky apple pieces.

The indulgent dollop of clotted cream served with it made me want to move to Devon.

Finally, a serious cheese board with good examples of the classic selection – a hearty blue, velvety goat and Montgomery cheddar that tasted of days gone by.

I like my cheese to speak for itself and rarely share it with a chutney, but the condiment here was a pleasing, spicy concoction.

To my mind The Fellow is a very worthy inclusion to the Michelin pub guide, providing thoughtful, above-average food at an average price.

The place is also a good yardstick with which to measure the change that has come about the King’s Cross area.

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