Restaurant Review: Shrimpy's @ The Filling Station, King's Cross

By Ruth Last edited 70 months ago
Restaurant Review: Shrimpy's @ The Filling Station, King's Cross

King's Cross is full of surprises. Peek behind the old green canopy of the station and you'll find a cathedral like new concourse. Go for a poke about between a gas holder and the Guardian offices and you'll find a thriving street food market. Likewise, if you peer around the fibreglass screen of The Filling Station, an abandoned gas station on Goods Way converted by Carmody Groarke, you'll be presented with a secluded courtyard overlooking the canal in which sits Shrimpy's, an offshoot of Hackney's Bistrotheque.

Feeling very much like the bastard child of their previous pop-up eatery, Studio East, and the smartest of American roadside diners (with canal in lieu of highway), this is not the first Filling Station that's popped up in London in recent years. The subtly lit, undulating facade - elegantly reminiscent of oft photographed roadside structures as silos and storage facilities - is obscurely inviting amongst the hubbub of York Way. Shrimpy's theme is hard to tell from the decor, which is part Hollywood glitz a la Jackie O, part monkey-adorned Copacabana, but with Boccioni's Unique Continuity of Forms in Space thrown in for good measure.

The menu, however, is decidedly American - as in the entire continent, rather than just the US. A pre-starter snack of chicharron and guacamole - ordered more out of curiosity than hunger - nearly proved fatal. These span-length pork scratchings, spiced up and served with chunky guacamole,  rendered conversation nigh-on impossible, and a visit to a dentist a distinct prospect.

Many ingredients seem to run through the starter and main course dishes, making it something of a minefield to avoid ending up with the same dish twice, like some perverse culinary game of Concentration. A tender slither of veal heart was perfectly matched with spicy chorizo and briney capers, whilst fried pillows of plantain were a counterpoint to the chunks of citrusy white flesh of the Peruvian ceviche. For the main course a thick veal chop (*snap!*) was paired with fennel, sambuca and - less successfully - olives, whilst skirt steak was more traditionally served with chimichurri. But that's all it came with - sides at around £4 each ranged from humita (creamed corn) to a green salad with capers and shallots which came shallot-free, but was none the worse for it.

Dinner for two, including cocktails, a bottle of wine, and two and a half courses each came to just under £130 including service. Which came as a bit of a surprise too.

Shrimpy's, King's Cross Filling Station, Goods Way N1C 4UR

The Filling Station's courtyard is also set to become an events space and alfresco restaurant.

Last Updated 08 June 2012

Rob Smith

Im hoping the new Kings Cross developments has los of this sort of quirky pop up stuff, and less of the boring chain restaurants you get at Canary Wharf.

If you are interested in whats happening to the area around Kings Cross as well as the history and archtecture of the area, check out Footprints of London's walk on 5th July


Ate there this evening. pizza outside was good. location is good. service was good. this is a pre-amble to a rant about how someone could make such a good opportunity so wrong. So i begin:
1. Not allowed to use cash
2. Not allowed to start a tab
(not a big deal, pop ups, infrastructure etc)
3. Not allowed a bottle of the brusseco, only none beer drink they had. Only served in 100ml glasses
4. Not allowed into Shrimpys to buy bottles of wine from the bar?!?! Reasons for this included:
  - You wouldnt drink wine at a festival - first off, i would. Second its central London definitely not a festival
  - Its simpler - maybe for them
 - We operate as separate business's - why they think we care i dont know. still not a great reason and also infers the obvious - they arent seperate business's
 - Imagine how busy it would get in the bar - again, should I care? more pointedly it was empty
 - Its a pop up!?! Ok great its so cool you can shelve service in a warm dark place.. really? I have been to pop ups before despite the patronizing tone of the manager and guess what - wine was allowed and they even occasionally fetched stuff.
My girlfriend dared to use the inside toilet and was asked buy the wait staff to use the side door or if she had to come through the restaurant to make sure she said excuse me!
I suggested that rather than busy the restaurant that the staff might fetch a bottle of wine from the inside bar for us and was told this was impossible. literally 2 seconds later the same guy went to fetch water from inside which he then served to us.
This is a sub set of the daftness. It was so daft it was dafter. I dont understand how any business would offer so many obstructions to spending money. Such a shame it could have been fun if the Gestapo weren't in charge. We went across the road to the lovely Kings Place and the Rotunda bar on the water. Food just as good, service was an actual service rather than a list of what wasnt allowed and the view is much nicer.
I will leave it to all you londoners (go across the road)


PS all charges at outside bar appeared on bank statement as "Shrimpys". Separate businesses my shrimpy


The food and waiting staff were great. Only downside was the head chef who was publicly abusing the waiter in full view of the patrons seated at the bar. Very unpleasant and for that reason we will not be going back.


Didn't go inside the over-priced restaurant. Instead sat outside - which is lovely if you want to feel like you're sitting on a petrol station forecourt. It's noisy, overpriced, crowded and basically just a rip-off. From the outside bar: CAN of coke £2.50 (with plastic glass if you ask). Hot-dog, with no onions available £5.00 ... just a frankfurter with a slightly posh piece of bread. Guy behind the counter agreed there should be onions: "If I was running the place I'd add onions," he said. "It only costs a few pence." Come on Londoners, you can surely find better places to go.