Back in 2007, when I had my first short stint living in London, Kings Cross had little to offer except a train station and some hard core club nights. It was an area to steer clear of in the evenings, in order to avoid the prostitutes and drug dealers. Roll on six years and it’s now the place to be. Think brightly coloured deck chairs, fountains, street food and hip new restaurants.
As a resident of Tufnell Park I was absolutely delighted when all this started happening on my doorstep. I’ve now been to each of the new restaurants and although I’d happily go back to any of them, I can confidently say that Shrimpy’s is my favourite. Which is a shame, as it’s a two year pop up and is due to be demolished next year! (This is worth knowing as it explains the portaloo toilets and the fact that they don’t accept cash – no space to store it on the premises apparently).
Perhaps it was the delicious Pisco Sour that I sipped as I waited for my friend, or maybe it was our table on the terrace and the wonderful sunny evening, but as soon as I got there I just knew I was going to enjoy myself.
The menu was really interesting. Simple but filled with strong flavours and some unusual dishes – the type you have to google to find out what they are. There were a lot of Mexican influences, true Mexican rather than the usual Tex-Mex, which appealed to me as I’d recently returned from Mexico.
The menu was split into snackettes, appetisers, entrees and sides and being greedy people we decided to order just one item from the entree section and then practically everything from the other sections. We wanted to try it all and we were not afraid to share.
The entree that we chose was the irresistible soft shell crab burger. It was good. Soft bun, crispy light batter, sweet crabmeat and tangy guacamole. However, it was the rest of the dishes that stole the show.
That rich, crunchy, macaroni cheese with a kick of spice was heaven. The tuna tostada was fresh and bold, just as good as those I ate in Mexico City. The salt cod croquetas were gone in seconds and the creamy humita (yep, I had to google that one) was so addictive that we were practically wiping the bowl out with our fingers. The slaw was the perfect crunchy, zingy accompaniment to cut through all the rich or fried food that we were devouring.
Of everything we ate the only dissapointment was the cherry pie. It sounded so enticiing “Cherry Pie a la mode. One baked each day, once its gone, its gone” but I found I enjoyed the accompanying ice cream much more than the pie itself.
Don’t let that put you off though. Shrimpy’s is modern, it’s fun and we had a cracking meal. I’ll back soon and next time I’m trying the banana and peanut butter sandwich for pud.
Salt cod croquetas
Chicory slaw, chilli, pomegranate
Soft shell crab burger, chilli, avocado and fries
Cherry pie a la mode
If you are planning a visit, you need to look for a large grey building at the top of Goods Way with a green neon sign advertising the filling station, because that’s what it was before, a BP petrol station. Now tell me that’s not hip.