Restaurant TED launches in King’s Cross
TED (Think, Eat, Drink) is, in its own words, a restaurant that offers “outstanding ethically sourced British produce in a stunning yet environmentally conscious setting.” That’s a description that intrigues us. There are generally two types of ethical restaurant: the first is a wonderful creature, a place where sustainability and moral sense complement plates of food that are every bit the equal of those prepared by those who are less scrupulous about their sourcing; the second is the kind of place that gives critics nightmares, a restaurant that tries to use its moral superiority to conceal its own mediocrity, usually while being unbearably smug in the process.
So it was with bated breath that we first stepped through the doors of this King’s Cross eatery. The furniture gives nothing away: all recycled, upcycled, reclaimed and generally ethical items that lend the place a decidedly smart-casual feel. It’s the kind of place that wants you to know that it tries, but not too hard. The Summer Cup cocktail that they serve up is wonderfully refreshing, and if the food proves to be as delightful as the atmosphere then we’re in for a great night.
The food finally arrives and it’s good. Mushrooms in choux pastry are delightfully rich but the choux is bland and nondescript; meltingly soft shreds of crab are placed on top of bruschettas. A fellow diner is also struggling to describe them, locked in thought at his own table.
Elsewhere in the capital, you can get thin slices of gorgeously toasted bread spread with foie gras for the same price. Simplicity itself, the textures in that dish compliment each other perfectly and demonstrate that even a basic pairing can create culinary fireworks.
Tender pork in breadcrumbs suffer from the same issue: essentially they’re a poor man’s sweet and sour pork balls. Nothing here dazzles your tastebuds. With mains costing between £14 and £16, we expect a degree of delight.
Jamie Grainger-Smith, who is the brains behind TED, is involved in this project. You might not know the name but you should have heard of his last venture, Acorn House. Also in King’s Cross, it showed the capital that sustainability can be a little boring. Sadly, this solo effort is unable to capture the beautifully pure soul of his last outing. TED is good, it’s just that it doesn’t amaze us. At this price and with this sort of ethical movement behind it, we had higher expectations – but it’s just the launch, perhaps these were only teething issues.
Photos: Rosie Young (1) and Tolga Akmen (2-5)
To book a table at TED, 47-51 Caledonian Road King’s Cross N1 9BU, call 020 3763 2080 or enquire here.