Coal Office

Middle Eastern·
Gold Award

SquareMeal Review of Coal Office

Gold Award

Designer Tom Dixon clearly has a thing for canals. His old HQ was by the Grand Union Canal at the top of Ladbroke Grove and featured a restaurant where chef Stevie Parle shot to fame. For his new place he’s chosen a brick warehouse from 1851 that gently curves around the Regent’s Canal in Coal Drops Yard in King’s Cross, immediately recognisable from the other restaurants in the new development by the Melt pendant lights that glow like illuminated amoeba from the windows of Dixon’s shop, studio and restaurant.

Cheffing duties this time around fall to Assaf Granit, the brains behind the world-famous Machneyuda in Jerusalem and a collaborator on The Palomar and Barbary. Some of The Palomar’s greatest hits are here, including addictive kubaleh bread to scoop up the sweet and sour of tomato confit and reduced yoghurt, while The Palomar’s deconstructed shikshukit kebab has been reconstructed as a superbly juicy chunk of lamb and beef – the best thing we ate.

Other dishes and flavours were new to us – ‘ironed chicken’ on a remarkable layer of violet polenta and black bulgur, by turns smooth and crunchy, and aubergine melted to a sticky pulp from the Josper oven so that it tasted transformed into essence of aubergine.

Not everything is so successful – shish barak, a sort of yoghurt ravioli, was a bland disappointment, ditto a fig-leaf ice cream, made on site – and prices are punchy to say the least: £16 struck us as very steep for a starter-sized portion of kebab that provided about four mouthfuls; arrive with an appetite and expect a food bill of £40 a head for the food alone. 

And while the 160-seat site, spread over a restaurant, chef’s table, bar and roof terrace, might not have the hugger-mugger intimacy of Granit’s previous London restaurants, the vibe provided by global beats, shouts from an open kitchen and, especially, Dixon’s beguiling design imprint provide a seductively hypnotic buzz. If Coal Office is anything to go by, the rest of Coal Drops Yard is going to be smoking hot.              

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Middle Eastern
Cool, Fun, Lively
Other Awards
SquareMeal London Top 100
Food Occasions
Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner, Lunch
Alfresco And Views
Outside seating, Rooftop, Waterside
Special Features
Chef’s table, Counter dining, Vegetarian options
Dates, Group dining [8+], Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating

Location for Coal Office

2 Bagley Walk, King's Cross, London, N1C 4PQ

020 3848 6085


Opening Times

Mon 08:00-10:30
Tue 08:00-10:30
Wed 08:00-10:30
Thu 08:00-10:30
Fri 08:00-10:30
Sat Closed
Sun Closed
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu Closed
Fri Closed
Sat 10:00-15:30
Sun 10:00-15:30
Mon 12:00-15:30
Tue 12:00-15:30
Wed 12:00-15:30
Thu 12:00-15:30
Fri 12:00-15:30
Sat Closed
Sun Closed
Mon 17:30-23:00
Tue 17:30-23:00
Wed 17:30-23:00
Thu 17:30-23:00
Fri 17:30-23:00
Sat 17:30-23:00
Sun 17:30-23:00

Reviews of Coal Office

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6 Reviews 

Alex G

Taste of Tel Aviv
07 January 2020  

Gourmand Gunno has been a regular traveller to and frequent advocate of Israel. There is much to love about the country and its food. Its location affords it two things: superb climate – after all, this is the famed land of milk and honey – and strategic positioning; at the intersection of the Mediterranean and the Middle East. With these factors in mind, it is hard not to be attracted. Londoners have been lucky enough to get a small insight into the country’s cuisine, first from Yotam Ottolenghi and more recently from venues such as The Palomar and The Barbary. The Coal Office, located in the Granary Square development behind King’s Cross, is the latest iteration of Israel’s potential and perhaps the venue in London that most faithfully captures the vibe of high-end dining outlets in Tel Aviv. Formal it is not, yet beneath the buzz, this is an incredibly slick operation. Expect pulsing beats, mini dramas from the open kitchen, engaging serving staff and – above all – mostly top-notch food. We were able to take everything in from the high-stooled table where we sat, the kitchen to one side the large open windows looking to the canal on the other. Décor is by designer Tom Dixon and the menu created by Assaf Granit (who found fame in Jerusalem’s legendary Machneyuda restaurant). The starting premise behind the food is ‘coal and wood.’ This may be part reference to the history behind the venue – in the Victorian era, coal was delivered up the canal to this part of London – but also a fundamental philosophy, that most things taste better when they are roasted and/or smoked. Simple can be good and a kubalah bread accompanied by labneh, tomato confit and fresh oregano, with which we began, proved this point. The bread was soft and comforting and the flavours melded seamlessly. Beyond bread, diners are encouraged to share a handful of smaller dishes, perhaps one from the ‘in between’ section and then conclude with a larger plate, again intended for sharing. We stuck broadly to this formula. While there was much love for the openers (especially the amazing polenta offering and also probably the most interesting take on fennel – here, with orange, olives, almonds and harissa – I have ever seen), the other dishes were more mixed. My octopus was quite superb, enhanced by an original truffle harissa sauce. However, my comrade was sufficiently unimpressed with her freekeh and smoked aubergine dish (‘bland, like a mid-week thing I might cook at home’) that it got sent back to the kitchen. It was – to the credit of the staff – replaced by an alternative. Similarly, for the puddings, tahini ice cream rocked, but the Coal Office’s take on malabi was discordant and rubbery. Maybe it didn’t matter too much, if you are happy to come and enjoy the vibe and think of the whole thing as a chaotically lively experience (the dishes come as soon as they are ready) with some flashes of culinary brilliance. It’s not super-cheap (especially once drinks are added in) and won’t be for everyone, but we mostly loved it.

Food & Drink

Sehar M

26 July 2019  
Absolutely delicious food! We sat at the Chef's counter and felt like we were given a very personalised experience. Theres nothing more satisfying than watching your food and challah bread being freshly prepared in front of you and the joy with which the staff were doing their job! The beef and lamb were stunning. So were the complimentary tastings. And most exquisite black sesame olive oil ice cream. Good value and definitely recommend a visit to this wonderfully designed / refurbished part of town.

Izzi B

Lively atmosphere and fun staff!
19 June 2019   - Verified Diner

LOVE this restaurant. ticks all the boxes. Also great for a lunch meeting. Staff are very friendly, buzzing atmosphere and you cannot beat the food! 

Food & Drink

Emelina M

31 March 2019  
Great food, service amazing, good drinks.

Mark D

On trend and on the money
05 February 2019  

The combination of great food, informed service, beautiful setting and the sense of privilege at securing a table – it’s full houses most sessions – makes this one of the stand-out restaurant experiences of early 2019

Food & Drink

Chris H

Interesting food
12 September 2018  
I attended a showcase event a couple of weeks ago and then went back for a meal last week. I can certainly recommend the Sashimi Uri Style (Kingfisher, ginger vinaigrette), Shikshukit 2.0 (lambe and beef kebab, tahini sour, aubergine, pita), Seafood Chraime (Tomatoes and pepper stew, Yemen pancake), and the Octopus special. The staff were very attentive. You can enjoy a pre-dinner drink from the deck overlooking the canal or visit Tom Dixon's workshop.
Food & Drink
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