Friday, 29 June 2012

Restaurant review: Shrimpy's, the Filling Station, King's Cross

Another week, another pop-up restaurant. They are all over London at the moment, which is really no bad thing. Who is going to complain about fantastic new restaurants appearing left, right and centre? 

Well, me, but only about the ones that have a no-booking policy, which never fails to annoy me. Thankfully at Shrimpy's (our lunch destination on Friday) you not only can book, but really have to -  it's a very small dining room and is very popular just now. 

The setting is key for your average pop-up: whilst Pitt Cue went for an Airstream Caravan on Southbank, Shrimpy's have installed themselves in a former petrol station (now the "Filling Station") just north of King's Cross station (on the corner of Goods Way and York Way). The transformation is impressive: it's a great dining space, cleverly hidden away from the traffic behind fancy screening, with a forecourt that will be a fantastic spot for canal-side drinks throughout the summer. 

The menu, as the name suggests, is dominated by fish (though there are meat options which did look tempting). The wine list is full of new world stuff, which gets a tick in my book. 

My starter was calamari (very tasty) followed by the soft shell crab burger (as pictured) for my main. The burger looked great, and tasted fine - though it was quite hard to notice any distinctive crab flavour. There was a subtle taste, but it seemed to be dominated by the bun and the dressing. As I say, it was fine, but it isn't a dish that I immediately rang home about. My colleagues who had the chicken dish enjoyed their meals. 

The service, and coffees were all good, and the bill came in at £180 for four (one bottle of wine, starters, mains and coffees) which puts it into the category of places to only go to when someone else is paying.

I'll happily return to Shrimpy's - the food is good, it's a very useful addition to the restaurants in/around King's Cross, and the setting is an excellent conversation starter - but given the size of the bill, I wasn't as blown away by the food as I was hoping to be.

DM out. 

Square Meal

Monday, 21 May 2012

King's Cross!!

We made it. Yesterday was a long 136km day, but we made it into KX for 6:30pm, both relieved and overjoyed at the same time.

It was quite a ride. More soon.


Saturday, 19 May 2012

We're in Calais!

We've made it to Calais after a day of bright sunshine and fast roads. Tomorrow we cross the channel then face the long drag to KX. We're not home yet!

Tomorrow we should cross the channel, pick up a few extra cyclists (hopefully) and then face some less than brilliant forecasted weather / a few hills in order to make it to the finish line at King's Cross.

Wish us luck!

Friday, 18 May 2012

100 miler (contd)

So. A big day today - we deliberately went on past our destination (Cambrai) with the intention of knocking off a few of tomorrow's miles (which was otherwise looking quite daunting). We pushed on to the 100 mile mark just really to say we had. It made it a long day, but hopefully we'll feel the benefits tomorrow.

Today has been OK, but not a classic. The morning was characterised by busy roads, big trucks and 'rolling' hills (which tended to be bigger than expected). The afternoon was much better - the wind eased, and the roads became quieter. And I was feeling much faster, which always helps!

By the end of the day we were all tired, but there is a growing sense of excitement about heading to Calais tomorrow. Everyone is still hoping beyond hope that we all stay fit for these last two days, but of course there are no guarantees.

There are lots of sore knees, aching muscles, and most of us have numb little fingers from so much riding. Painkillers are being consumed as regularly as energy bars (which, incidentally, we're all sick of) and chamois cream is being applied in thicker and thicker layers.

It would be easy to think that we're nearly there now - and indeed we've never been closer - but keeping the legs going for the next two days after the punishment they've already taken will be no mean feat. Keep all the texts / comments / etc coming; they're hugely appreciated. Keep everything crossed for us: we're going to need all the luck we can get over the next few days.

DM out.

The 100 miler

Just a v quick note to say that we're safely in Cambrai, after a monster 100 mile day. More later.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Day 6: Back in the game!

What a difference a day makes. After two pretty tough days (to put it politely!) today was a peach. It was still long (138km) bit we covered it quickly, getting to our hotel by half four.

The hills have been rolling - with some cracking descents (I managed a new top speed of 57.5km/h on one descent) - the wind has been at our backs (at last!) and the sun has been shining all day. I struggled a bit after first tea break - my left knee felt quite sore and I was off the pace a bit (in my defence though, the average pace at that point was 28km/h, which is high) but with some help from the Team (my thanks to Duncan and Graham) I soon recovered and was whizzing along quite happily after lunch.

So. End of day six and we're in a interesting "hotel" in Charleville-Mezeries. Two thirds of the way now. Fingers crossed that the legs keep going for the next three days. DM