After-Work King's Cross Just Got A Lot More Interesting
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We don't have enormous hopes for Arabica's newest branch, on the approach. Down a King's Cross side street, in a glass-and-steel office block, it's tumbleweed on a wintry weekday night.
Tumbleweed outside, but buzzing inside. These days there's enough competition in King's Cross — restaurants and bars blooming out of every spare space in Coal Drops Yard, along Caledonian Road and York Way — that it can't be convenience alone keeping Arabica this thriving.
If we had to guess the reason, then, it might be the feta and spinach boregi, crispy-layered pastry all flake and crackle, portion generous enough to be decent snacking for two, or spectacular stomach-lining for one. Or maybe the beef and bone marrow arayes, richness crammed densely into flatbreads. Or maybe the Levantini — gin/vermouth/limoncello/basil/citrus — because some people are clearly here more for drinking and mezze than dinner-sized meals, and Arabica lends itself (via some decent-priced dips, good flatbreads and a strong cocktail list) to that kind of evening.
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Also featured: some unexciting squash freekeh salad, a bit claggy, a bit bland; some surprisingly exciting green, zhug-laced hummus, and a fiercely strong and nicely bitter Turkish coffee martini. A quite extensive prowl through the quite extensive menu throws out a lot of strong dishes, decent prices and substantial portions in big, explosive flavours, against an occasional damp squib.
Who knew a King's Cross side street restaurant could be this packed on a wintry Tuesday, this loud, cram this many late-night vibes, good smells, warm lighting, into this sort-of sterile-looking-from-outside under-office space? Came as a surprise to us, and a properly welcome one.
Arabica KX: 10/10 at making it feel not like winter for the night.
Arabica KX, 7 Lewis Cubitt Walk, N1C 4DT.
Last Updated 04 November 2019