St Pancras Grand

St Pancras Grand arrived with quite a bit of fanfare last year when the new St Pancras station opened.  This was a restaurant modelled on the famous Terminus Nord in Paris, it had a menu designed by the famous food critic Faye Maschler and the early reviews were pretty positive.  Moving at my usual speed of lightening it has taken me about a year to get to St Pancras Grand to check it out.  

My first impressions are that St Pancras Grand looks nothing like Terminus Nord unless you take into account the fact that it is in the vicinity of a train station and is a brassiere style restaurant.  While Terminus Nord is all faded art nouveau charm, St Pancras Grand is quite corporate with plush leather bistro seating, big cream orb lighting and miles of space between tables.  While the restaurant was fairly full on a Thursday night,  business must be a little slack as St Pancras Grand is currently offering a Top Table deal of £30 for a two course dinner for two along with a bottle of pink Prosecco.  This offer was too good to pass up so I averted my gaze from the oyster counter and stuck to the set menu that the offer covered.  The menu at St Pancras Grand reads like an advertisement for defiantly British food with a special emphasis on seafood so there are lots of things that sound both intriguing and delicious. 
   
Ham hock
It would be presumptive to comment on the wine list as we just drank the offered Prosecco.  However, the Prosecco was not really the greatest example of Italy’s lovely bubbly as it erred on the side of being rather too pink and rather too sweet.  Still, it was quite drinkable, especially at the price we were paying and so we sipped on a glass each and tucked into the warm, points of rolls that were brought to our table in a silver container.  
Service was very attentive despite a brief assessment of “Oh you’re here on the pink fizz offer” and it did not take long until our mains were served.  The sea bass with black kale featured a fillet of sea bass on a bed of black coloured greens and a scattering of chantarelle mushrooms.  While the dish was plated stylishly with the care and attention to detail that you expect in a restaurant of this calibre, the substance of it did not really blow me away.  Beside the chantarelle mushrooms there were no strong flavours and the skin on the sea bass was soft rather than crispy.  
A better option was the ham hock with apple sauce.  The ham was succulent and salty and came doused in a rich jus on a bed of spinach and topped with a dollop of sweet apple sauce.  St Pancras Grand seemed at its strongest when producing classic dishes, this was also the case with the dessert menu where the Bakewell apple tart was the star of the show.  Tender apples were served with a slightly crunchy crumble topping along with a scoop of good quality vanilla ice cream flecked with dark spots from vanilla beans. 
It is difficult to offer too strong an opinion on a restaurant on the basis of a set menu deal.  The Top Table offer certainly made a meal at St Pancras Grand excellent value, however based on that set menu I am not sure that I would be happy about paying full price.  St Pancras Grand is a convenient place to eat at if you want a decent meal while at the station, however I do not think it is a destination restaurant in its own right along the lines of Terminus Nord in Paris.  
Essentials
Details: St Pancras International, Kings Cross NW1 (Ph 020 7870 9900) Tube: Kings Cross
Damage: Pricey but actually reasonable if you can get a discount deal
6/10  
Links
If you liked reading this you might be interested in my review of the Sourced Market at St Pancras or my review of Terminus Nord in Paris.  

St Pancras Grand on Urbanspoon

Posted by: on September 21st, 2009     6 Comments »

Category: NW1, Restaurants - British
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6 Comments on “St Pancras Grand”

  1. Graphic Foodie said at 8:09 am on September 21st, 2009:

    Why do restaurants offer discounted menus then serve up half hearted dishes or even worse make you feel like a total cheap-o “Oh you’re here on the pink fizz offer”

    You’re then not likely to go back and pay full price then are you?

  2. Dan said at 9:46 am on September 21st, 2009:

    Nice review GC.
    I’ve wanted to try St Pancras Grand for ages, and since I’ve eaten in Terminus Nord I was interested to see how it compared. Not that favorably it seems. But, That’s some offer – £30 for two courses for two people – with a bottle of Prosecco?!!

    I’m still going to have to give it a go and make up my own mind.

  3. Boo said at 11:22 am on September 21st, 2009:

    I love Top table deals but all too often it seems to get you off on the wrong foot with the staff, they are super value for money though. That ham hock looks lovely.

  4. gastrogeek said at 11:42 am on September 21st, 2009:

    fantastic – what an insightful post. Incidentally, I received an email asking me to come along to review “St Pancreas Grand” – although the typo made me giggle, I’m afraid it also made me decline…thanks for a fab review!

  5. ginger@dinnerdiary.org said at 1:32 pm on September 21st, 2009:

    We had a drink here a little while ago and while that was lovely, it didn’t really make me want to return for dinner. I found the whole place slightly odd, like I was drinking in a disused station. The food sounds good though, shame about the service.

  6. Gourmet Chick said at 7:33 pm on September 23rd, 2009:

    Graphic Foodie – Agree it is a chance for them to advertise themselves to you

    Dan – Interested to see what you think – despite the quality not being what I expected it is hard to go wrong at that price.

    Boo – the ham hock was clearly the highlight

    Gastro Geek – St Pancreas – love it!

    Ginger – yes I think I will stick to the champagne bar in future


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