After stepping into King's Cross' Coal Office, I knew I was in for a real treat. The fragrant smell, the stylish interiors and the electric atmosphere. It ticked all the boxes for me right away. So, how did this glorious marriage of finesse and food start? A fusion between world-renowned chef patron, Assaf Granit, and furniture designer, Tom Dixon, who created an industrial-themed space touting authentic Israeli dishes. Did it taste as good as it looked? Read to find out.
Sitting down at our table by the window, we took in the views of Granary Square and Coal Drops Yard restaurants, all while admiring the chic decor. Think exposed brick walls, low-hanging silver lampshades and a fantastic open kitchen, where we could watch all the magic happen. For drinks? We opted for a refreshing Gumi Gun Cup (£13.50), made up of Chivas Regal 12, strawberry cordial and Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto, which was beautifully smooth, yet rich. Followed by another Italian liquor-laced Basilkum Smash (£13.50), with gin, basil leaves and Canaan White - a floral masterpiece. While quaffing our concoctions, we shared a Kubulah (£6.50), a soft Yemeni brioche with a glorious array of dips, including tahini, grated tomato and Schug. This really hit the spot, as the bread was warm and sweet, which complemented the savoury flavours.
We then moved on to small plates, which came out individually, making them perfect for sharing. First, we delved into one of the most popular dishes: Machneyuda's Polenta (£10.50). This reminded me of a savoury rice pudding made up of asparagus, truffle, mushroom ragout and shaved parmesan - an absolute treat. Next up was the Agvania (£12), a traditional Israeli chopped salad, touting succulent summer tomatoes with a British twist - as it was also drizzled in a beautifully sweet strawberry coulis. Yum.
Before tucking into our next course, I was eager to try another cocktail, so opted for a Hamsin Fizz (£13.50). This aromatic highball drink had a slight fruitiness from the watermelon and kaffir lime leaves, which paired nicely with the nutty Absolut Elyx vodka. My date sipped on a full-bodied and concentrated glass of Primitivo di Puglia 2019 (£10.50), a nice accompaniment to our main. Immersing ourselves in the sharing culture, we chose the Alaesh (£70). This beef sirloin was unlike other regular cuts of steak, as it was cooked to perfection over coals, giving it that smoky flavour. On the side? It had mohamra - a walnut dip with a nice level of spice, peppery kohlrabi and a fresh basil salsa to cut through the richness of the meat.
To finish off our meal, we indulged in a couple of puds. Including a Ma Ha Louz (£9), a decadent dessert boasting hazelnut ice cream, buckwheat crumble and feuillatine. This had a great variety of textures, from the crunchy thin crepes to the melt-in-the-mouth chocolate. We then tried A Piece of Ooga (£9), a rich ricotta cheesecake, fronting fresh notes of mint and nectarine, alongside a slight bitterness from the mahlab.
The DesignMyNight Digest
Not only does Coal Office have trendy interiors and a great atmosphere, but the food is also absolutely delicious. You can tell that the head chef, Dan Pelles, is really showcasing Granit's ideas on traditional Middle Eastern food and culture, with a modern twist. I really felt as if I had been transported across the world, all while trying new flavours and enjoying my date's company through sharing dishes together.
💰 The damage: £189, including service charge.
📍 The location: 2 Bagley Walk, King's Cross, N1C 4PQ.
👌 Perfect for: Date nights or dinner and drinks.
⭐ Need to know: Need a hand deciding what to order? The staff are super helpful.
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