On the way home after the weekend I decided to visit EAT.ST in Kings Cross for lunch, unfortunately I came to discover that only one street food trader had turned up, which was very disappointing. Luckily, I stumbled upon Shrimpy's on the gritty goods way. I had read a few reviews previously so had a good idea what it looked like, very unique and stands out like a sore thumb hanging over the canal. It’s actually a converted filling station that has been turned ultra-modern, sporting neon signs and outside seating, some say it’s a piece of art, I disagree.
Although trying to work out where the entrance is Shrimpy's has cleverly put it and outside seating to the back on the canal so you forget where you are when the sun is beating down glistening off the water, and spectating a seagull stealing a baby chick from its mother, poor thing. The outside seating is sadly not used by the restaurant but instead run by Homeslice Pizza, who are serving up alcoholic beverages and their delicious wood fired pizzas.
Having not booked a table we warmly greeted and seated with no problems. The interior is very modern and fun but retains some class. Adorned with golden pineapple light fixtures, bright cartoon drawings on the walls, which I thought were very effective and silver tableware/cutlery. The menu at Shrimpy's is not cheap but given the quality of the ingredients, I think they price their menu well. The focus here is on Seafood, which is their speciality, so instead we decided to go for something that wasn’t fish. The idea was see if they have skill in cooking something other than seafood, plus I hadn’t heard a blogger mention their chicken, pork or snacks.
Instead of opting for a starter as we were also out for dinner, we decided to try a couple of their snacks instead. Unfortunately, the Chicharron (pretty much the Spanish word for pork scratchings) with guacamole was sold out, instead we had the plantain, chips and dips, with the dips being guacamole and a seriously fresh but vinegary salsa. The other was Parmesan and paprika straws, surprisingly spicy and slightly stodgy.
The fried chicken, red pepper, as it reads on the menu gave no clue how this was going to arrive on my plate. Pleasantly surprised the chicken, which had been soaked in buttermilk, seasoned, coated in a crumb and fried in oil was delicious. The chicken was succulent, juicy and rich while the seasoning between the chicken and crump added another delicious peppery layer. Accompanying the chicken was some tender cubes of red pepper in olive oil and a garnish of coriander. The fries, cooked well and tasting though they had been made with top quality potatoes were a good side.
Scrappel, chicory and coriander slaw was our other choice. Scrapple, if you have not heard of it before, originated in Pennsylvania and is now a popular dish in the mid-Atlantic states of America. It is in simple terms, a pork mush. Compromised of tender chunks of pork, various flours, polenta and spices all squeezed together and lightly fried. It slightly reminded me of Sunday roast pork stuffing, although a very nice one. For me though the chicory and coriander slaw was the real winner but the overall dish was a simple affair and slightly average.
The wine ordered was a Pinot Gris, pleasant enough and a very reasonable £3.50 a glass. Service here was friendly, if not a bit quirky. The real shocker, (which was not mentioned to us) is that they do not accept cash, which yes, we are in 2012 but what if I wanted to give the waiter/waitress a personal tip. I will definitely return to devour more of that delicious buttermilk chicken and to sample that alien looking soft shell crab burger I have heard so much about.