Restaurant review: Rotunda, King’s Cross, N1

Rotunda, as you'd expect, is round Pic Danny Elwes

Rotunda, as you'd expect, is round Pic Danny Elwes - Credit: Danny Elwes

Kings Place, the enormous glass monolith that looms over York Way, is known as home to an arts centre, theatre and left-leaning newspapers.

The menu is a mixture of adventurous starters and hearty mains

The menu is a mixture of adventurous starters and hearty mains - Credit: Danny Elwes

Food hadn’t really come into the equation until Irishman Nicky Foley took over the reins at Rotunda, the on-site restaurant, and revamped the menu.

Walking into the bar is a little underwhelming, because it looks like a theatre lobby, which is essentially what it is. But once you get behind the screen that segregates drinkers from diners, things improve greatly, with a large window offering a view across the wharf.

There’s a lot of meat on the menu, complete with diagrams of livestock, and the starters and mains seem to be slightly at odds – the former complicated and adventurous, the latter rather straightforward.

We had the ricotta with melon and sea vegetable tempura, an interesting dish but unbalanced. A mouthful of cheese, fruit and peppery veg was just right, but all too often your fork was overpowered by sweetness.

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The ceviche-style scallops were better; with nettles, almonds and a bitter hit of lemon and lime, they were much more to my taste.

The mains were simple and effective: steak, lamb, fish and so on, although my Denver cut of beef is a new one on me. An American import, it’s a cousin to sirloin – slightly tougher, lots of taste and, in this case, with a well-seasoned, powerful crust.

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The Dover sole was excellent, with the head but no skin and a flavour strong enough to make the pot of tartar sauce unnecessary.

The sides too were unambitious but well executed – fantastic mash (both potato and carrot), squash, greens, etc. The rhubarb and crumble wasn’t stunning, but by then I was quite full.

Rotunda is worth a visit on its own. If you are at Kings Place for a show, it’s a must.

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