Shrimpy’s, King’s Cross

My sister kindly decided to take me for lunch as a birthday treat and she chose Shrimpy’s as the place to go. I was quite excited as it was a place I’d been meaning to try for quite some time.

It’s a restaurant by the guy who owns Bistrotheque. It’s situated in an old petrol station about a 5 minute walk from Kings Cross Station. The building that houses Shrimpy’s, now called The Filling Station, looks like a giant piece of installation art (that or a giant piece of corrugated iron) and after a bit of confusion we realised the entrance was round the back.

The restaurant itself is a rather long and narrow space with a nice view of the canal. Palm tree lights and pineapple lamps give it a slightly exotic feel with a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. We felt very comfortable indeed.

Some grilled corn (a bit like popcorn before it’s popped) sprinkled with salt was brought to the table and was totally moreish.

My sister’s starter of tuna tostada (£7) which is basically thin slices of raw tuna with a fried crispy tortilla, was delicious. There was a real slap round the chops of chilli which made it all very flavoursome. Combined with the refreshing sliced lettuce and avocado it made for a light and delicate starter.

My roasted calamari with black olive tapenade (£8.50) was superb. The calamari was cooked perfectly and was anything but chewy. It had been coated in a breadcrumb crust that was golden and crunchy. Yum.

My sister’s pork Milanese with salsa creole (£12) was absolutely delicious. It was identical to a schnitzel only the pork was thicker. The flavour of the succulent pork and the crunchy breadcrumb coating was divine – and squirted with the lemon it tasted even better. The salsa creole which perched on top, was a salsa of sliced peppers and red onion with plenty of chilli which was a great accompaniment.

For my main I went for one of Shrimpy’s signature dishes – the soft shell crab burger, avocado and fries (£16.50). It was a whole battered and deep fried soft shell crab sandwiched between a soft toasted bun. I loved every single mouthful – the batter was crunchy, the crab was soft & delicate and smothered in the mayo that I asked for, it was wonderful. The fries were salty and pleasant – not the best you’ll find in London but good enough to finish with satisfaction.

I was surprisingly full but decided to order a dessert as my sister was paying! The chocolate brownie and pistachio sundae (£6.50) was a scoop of chocolate and vanilla ice cream, hardened chocolate sauce and slices of chocolate fudge (not brownie). A sundae does what it says on the tin, and this one was a rich chocolatey delight.

My sister’s meringue, hibiscus syrup, chantilly and pineapple (£5.50) looked rather impressive. The large disk of dried pineapple was crispy and contrasted the soft cream, the chewy meringue and sweet fresh pineapple. It was a little taste of the Caribbean – in an old petrol station in Kings Cross.

The loo’s were a little odd – like posh portaloos – and freezing cold portaloos at that. Shrimpy’s is only a two year pop up so I really recommend paying it a visit before it gets knocked down and replaced by some charisma-less flats. Apart from the dodgy toilets, we thoroughly enjoyed our lunch at Shrimpy’s. The service was great, our waitress was very chatty and friendly, and the food was rather tasty too.


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