Food review: Rotunda, King’s Cross

Rotunda

Rotunda - Credit: Archant

As exclusively reported in the Gazette, Rotunda in King’s Cross won the “best dressed pub garden” gong in this year’s Islington in Bloom awards. So it was only right to check out the venue itself.

Rotunda

Rotunda - Credit: Archant

Located off the Regent’s Canal in York Way, Rotunda is one of those plush bar/restaurants that embody the intense gentrification of an area previously most famous for trains, prostitution and crack cocaine.

My friend and I get in at 6.30pm and the bar is packed with the after-work Friday crowd. The only thing that “kills the vibe”, as my friend puts it, is the have-a-go-and-play-it-yourself piano. Someone is inflicting Vanessa Carlton’s “1000 Miles” on the patrons.

We are guided to the restaurant area, which even at this relatively early hour is just as busy. The wine list is enormous, but we choose beers the hoppy Hammerton N7 beer, brewed just outside Caledonian Road and Barnsbury station.

Rather than proper starters, my friend and I choose a few dishes from the “nibbles” section.


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The onion bhajis (£3.50) have a fresh, almost raw crunch on the inside, offset by the sweet mango chutney. The Korean chicken (4.50) is actually glorified chicken goujons, only with a unique fluffiness. And the honey mustard glazed mini sausages (£4.50) are dangerously tasty – it’s lucky there’s only seven.

We are immediately drawn to the steak menu for mains, and both choose the “Josper grilled” rib-eye (£21.50). Cooked medium due to the higher fat content of rib-eye, the juices run perfectly. The triple-cooked chips (£3.95) are not included in the price, but the beautiful peppercorn sauce seems a steal at £1.50.

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While the menu as a whole is fairly standard, dessert gives us our best dish of the night.

It’s the first time I’ve tried peanut butter parfait (£6.50), but this is seriously good. After overloading on steak, it feels like the most inappropriately unhealthy pudding to be eating.But the ice cream-like quality and pure peanut buttery taste takes me back to my childhood and I don’t care. Rotunda sends me home happy.

Rotunda, King’s Place, 90 York Way, N1 9AG. 020 7014 2840 rotundabarandrestaurant.co.uk

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