Plum + Spilt Milk King’s Cross
Great cities should have great railway restaurants. Paris displays its hauteur through Le Train Bleu in the Gare de Lyon. New York’s old-school sophistication is written into the DNA of the Oyster Bar and Restaurant at Grand Central Station. But for London? Where would you go? Points of destination and arrival are markers of a country’s self-confidence. The question is does our town deserve better than the chain restaurants that bedevil our eating culture?Fiona and I are going to try to find an answer as we have been invited to review Plum and Spilt Milk at the Great Northern Hotel, just across the way from St Pancras International. We enter a handsome, buzzing room decked out in pea green and cream livery-it won awards for Interior Design of the Year and Best Restaurant Interior at the European Hotel Design Awards in 2013-and feels classic but functional, like the first-class restaurant lounge at an imagined Victorian airport.
It’s a mark of a good restaurant that they can do the simple things well and Plum & Spilt Milk achieves that. Rosemary salt fries (£4) were crisp and fluffy and winter greens had a buttery bite (£4).
I’m really not sure where Baked Alaska (£16 for 2 to share) fits into a British food offer but what the hell. Doused with cognac, the eggy meringue enfolds mango ice cream and passion fruit sorbet with mango and passion fruit coulis on the side. A dessert like this fills me with a childish sense of glee and our Hungarian Tokaji sweet wine had just the right amount of bite to offset the sweetness.
If your train is late you need a great bar to sit in and drink-fortunately Plum and Spilt Milk has that with an enticing collection of cognacs to help you rack up your expense account. You don’t really need to be travelling to or from anywhere to have an excuse to enjoy this restaurant. London finally has its own station destination for degustation.