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Restaurant Review: The Lighterman, Kings Cross in London

By Nick Constance on 2nd April 2018

Depending on your point of view, the area around London’s King’s Cross station is either a half-baked monstrosity, or a triumph of urban regeneration. I fall in the latter category.
Looking like a chic, cutting edge art gallery, The Lighterman gastro-bar cum restaurant is a fairly recent arrival on the London foodie scene.

The name is inspired by the industrial past of King’s Cross, and the Victorian Lightermen who worked on barges, known as ‘Lighters’, on the canals and rivers of London.

The Lighterman, Kings Cross in London
The Lighterman is located at Kings Cross in London. Imgae credit: Motkowicz Photography

Located next to Regent’s canal, The Lighterman not only has an impressive address, but also boasts a large wraparound terrace, perfect for summertime grazing. On a pleasant day, you might want to blag a table overlooking the fountains in Granary Square.

It was midday, on a Saturday, so we ordered from the brunch menu. Sad fact of the day: you know you’re an adult when you brunch harder than you party.

We started with a seriously good Chicken and Tarragon Terrine and a plate of perfectly passable Smoked-cheese Risotto balls. So far, so delightful.

Moving on, we ordered a beef and ale pie with celeriac and carrot and the oh-so-trendy Crushed avocado on toast, with eggs and bacon. The food was tasty, well presented and plentiful.

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The name is inspired by the industrial past of King’s Cross, and the Victorian Lightermen who worked on flat-bottomed barges, known as “Lighters”, on the canals and rivers of London

Sweet treats

I’m not the biggest fan of syrupy puddings, so I’ll hand you over to my dining partner Tash, she knows a thing or two about glutinous confiture. “Wow! This is absolutely delicious”.

What Tash was wowing about was a warm chocolate brownie, with salted caramel ice cream. So, there you have it, the ultimate foodie critic hands down her verdict.

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The owners have created a modern British menu with European influences for breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch

Despite the fact it was ‘only’ brunch, Tash chose a bottle of Vermentino, Château Fontainebleau to accompany our mini feast. The wine list is surprisingly good, if a tad pricey. The Lighterman bar also offers decent cocktails along with biodynamic wines, independent craft beers and some ‘top shop’ champagnes.

The Main section of the menu covers more traditional dishes, such as “beer battered” Fish and Chips, Pan Fried Cod and Mushroom and Spinach Tart.

However, it’s the wood-fired grill where the real action takes place: 28-day dry-aged Sirloin, Grilled Sea Bass, and even a vegie-friendly Pea and Courgette burger are all put to the flame.

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The Lighterman is a place to relax and enjoy all day dining and drinking

Service is pleasant; the vibe is upbeat and the view of the locale is entertaining – particularly if, you’re a fan of urban swagger.

All in all, The Lighterman get’s the nod – you can’t go wrong with a place by the canal, on a bright, sunny day. 

Verdict:

Down-to-earth. Great view… decent grub… alert service. We even like the taps in the (gender-neutral) loo. Check ‘em out.

Address: 3 Granary Square, London, N1C 4BH

thelighterman.co.uk