King’s Cross a first-class stop for al fresco

Tom Moggach picks his favourite spots to eat outdoors at new development

Thursday, 29th April 2021 — By Tom Moggach

Parralin, Harts Group, restaurant, Coal Drops Yard

Parillan overlooks the canal in Coal Drops Yard. Photo: Greg Funnell

LONDON is not a city traditionally geared up for outdoor dining. But the new King’s Cross development could have been designed with Covid restrictions in mind – it’s awash with al fresco options. Here’s some of my personal top picks:


Over in Coal Drops Yard, the boutique shops remain eerily quiet. But the bars and restaurants are humming. Parillan is a stylish Spanish restaurant from the same team that run Barrafina and Casa Pastor on the ground floor of this architectural marvel. The 100-seat terrace looks out over both the canal and the concourse below. The well-trained staff will check your temperature on the way then bring a mini grill to your table, so you can cook sizzling titbits in the sunshine and daydream of Ibitha. I ate there last week, and rate the asparagus, lamb and Pintxo de Txistorra, a special type of semi-cured chorizo. Order all the dips, which include a silky aioli and green and red mojos – traditional sauces from the Canary Islands.


You’ll find this small vermouth bar and restaurant on the ground floor of Coal Drops Yard, underneath the magnificent swoop of the Samsung store. They mix a mean negroni (three variations, in fact) and have now installed an oven outdoors, offering up delights such as mackerel with purple sprouting broccoli and burnt lemon, or chunks of slow-cooked lamb shoulder with romesco sauce.


This imposing wine bar has a sprawling terrace opposite St Pancras station. Their choice by the glass is always excellent and currently stars an excellent New Zealand pinot noir from a small winery just south of Marlborough and a superior vinho verde with a gentle fizz. The food menu is on the snacky side, featuring artisan cheeses, charcuterie and grilled ciabatta sandwiches with chips.

Kineya Mugimaru

The first UK outlet of this Japanese noodle chain has just opened inside St Pancras station, on the site previously occupied by Patisserie Valerie. Founded in 1967 in Osaka, Kineya has around 500 stores in Japan, the US and Hong Kong. Expect bouncy, freshly made udon noodles swimming in intense broths, a wide range of vegan dishes and more than 10 types of tempura. Right now, they are only allowed to serve takeouts but expect to fully open on May 17.

Campfire at Two Tribes

This craft brewery is tucked away off York Rise and is renowned for its blend of beer, music and live events. The team have been busy during lockdown, building a new outdoor dining space based around the concept of open fire cooking which they describe as “a unique live fire-cooking and fermentation freight container venue in the heart of London”. Book ahead for large groups and expect DJs, live music and smokey flavours such as bbq duck with rhubarb hoisin sauce or cauliflower with hummus, mint and pomegranate. Their cheese donuts have already gained a cult following. Guest chefs are cooking from Monday to Wednesday, with the Campfire team taking charge from Thursday to Saturday.

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