For a late birthday lunch with two friends, I chose “Drake and Morgan”:https://www.drakeandmorgan.co.uk/kings-cross/ located behind the newly developed Kings Cross station.
On arrival at 1pm, we decided against the outside terrace, as it was a little chilly and we’d already escaped a large downpour earlier in the morning. This is a huge restaurant, and we were shown to what appeared to be a quieter table near the window on a small, raised platform with only a couple of other tables. It looked promising and we looked forward to a good catchup.
It was a very interesting “menu”:https://www.drakeandmorgan.co.uk/kings-cross/menus/ with lots of tempting options and we were spoilt for choice. To start we chose salt and Szechuan pepper squid and Drake fried popcorn chicken (ultimately chicken nuggets). My choice of a chorizo Scotch egg with its runny yellow yolk and spicy meat casing was delicious especially accompanied by the paprika mayonnaise.
Main courses were Jacob’s ladder of beef with carrot puree, winter greens and horseradish crisps with a side of chips and a special, duck leg with pineapple and tomato salsa. We tried to establish whether the duck came with vegetables, but the waitress just kept repeating that it was a complete meal, so a side of buttered greens was ordered and needed.
I tried one of my favorite dishes, which had a slight twist – a Mac and cheese with Marmite (I realise that this will divide Silver Travellers), with a rocket salad to go with it. It was a wonderful take on a traditional dish with Marmite breadcrumbs on top providing yummy umami flavors and texture.
While the food was excellent, service left a lot to be desired. Staff had fixed, rather than genuine smiles, and service didn’t flow: whilst waiting for mains, the waitress who’d cleared our starters asked if we were ready for dessert. It was assumed that we were all sharing one pudding ordered by a friend. This was brought out with a birthday sparkler in it and placed in front of me – the friend who had ordered the dessert wasn’t impressed. Two pots of tea were ordered, earl grey and mint. When they were delivered, the waitress couldn’t identify which was which, and couldn’t be bothered to lift the lids to check.
However, the main problem was the noise levels. I pride myself on excellent hearing and although we were sat on a circular table, we had to shout across to each other in order to be heard. Bearing in mind this was lunch time, it was only too easy to imagine how the decibel levels would increase in evenings with the influx of after work drinkers and diners
There was a comprehensive, but not expensive wine list and we shared a couple of bottles of South African Chenin Blanc at £22.
Whilst we loved the food, we regretted not sitting outside as it would have been much quieter.