The pub, as its name suggests, was the former parcel yard of the Royal Mail in Kings Cross station and the redesign respects this heritage with lots of 'original features' and knick-knacks from its post office days such as parcel scales. The pub also offers table service, even if you're simply drinking pints, and I've found it to be very pub to kick back in, but with Fuller's also making such a big deal on the food, I'm rooting for this to be tip top also.
My first choice of starter is Scallop Benedict, on bubble and squeak with bacon and hollandaise. It's so not what you expect to find in a Kings Cross pub that it seems a good 'test'. Despite being an early diner in a near empty dining room, I'm told that this is not available today. The non availability of the scallops builds within me a non specific anxiety and I wonder when they took the last delivery of seafood. Pea soup or salmon gravlax seem too little of a challenge while ox tongue fritters are possibly too much of one. I plump for the Dressed Dorset Crab and Avocado with Virgin Mary Dressing.
Like so many menu descriptions, the emphasis is wrong. Okay, it's not the emphasis that's wrong here, more like the whole description really. The Virgin Mary is not so much a dressing, rather a whole wardrobe, but jokes aside, I'm faced with what appears to be a bowl of spicy tomato soup (they provide you with a soup spoon for it). To their credit, it is a very good Virgin Mary with a real zing, but because of that, nothing else really stands a chance against it, not least the small covering of crab atop the avocado, leaving the thing that you ordered merely as a garnish. One might reasonably ask how much crab can you expect for a £7.50 starter; I'm not sure I exactly know but I think it's a little more than this. The toasted pita bread meanwhile has absorbed the Virgin Mary and gone soggy, and while overall it's not terrible to eat, one feels the dish as presented here is not what lay behind the intention.
When the dish arrives, I don't know whether to be disappointed. The lamb looks overly fatty and a little tough. It had been a touch overcooked but if I were just eating here because I had a train to catch, I'd probably be thinking that I did okay and that it wasn't a bad meal for a station pub. Is it the next Harwood Arms however? Sadly not.
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