London, NW1 2SD ·Website·Call020 7843 2221

SquareMeal Review of Karpo

Named after the Greek goddess of ‘fruits of the earth’, Karpo is a suitably bountiful, all-day affair, with the emphasis on seasonal and sustainable produce – including pickings from a rooftop vegetable garden. Proceedings might open in classic style with a combo of smoked eel and horseradish cream on home-baked Finnish bread or a defiantly rustic pork pâté/terrine, while mains deliver up-front simplicity in the shape of ozone-fresh brill with samphire or a big sirloin steak from the wood-fired oven with bone marrow and roast shallots Also look out for show-stopping desserts such as a crunchy pink-peppercorn meringue. Karpo’s ethos extends to an eco-minded, 100-bin wine list and a funky ‘urban earth’ design, mixing living walls of organic plants, with concrete, metalwork and street art – though its friendly, relaxed vibe feels pleasantly removed from the mayhem of nearby King’s Cross station.

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Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49


23 Euston Road, London, NW1 2SD

020 7843 2221 020 7843 2221


Opening Times

Mon-Fri 7am-3pm 5.30-10.30pm Sat-Sun 8am-4pm 5.30-10.30pm (Sun -5pm)


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3 Reviews 

Sophie M

30 March 2012  
Food & Drink 4
Service 4
Atmosphere 3.5
Value 3.5
It's new. It's bright. It's colourful. It's also currently shrouded in blue plastic to cover the exterior scaffolding and it's located in kings cross. The above reasons may not necessarily be the first reasons to visit month old Karpo (prior experience of establishments next to railway stations remain a little dubious) but once you get inside this place you'll see there is good reason to stay. The food alone is highly pleasant affair, with a daily changing menu that works on a basis of British produce twisted with influences from the southern us. This means you'll find things like ‘bourbon & chilli pecans’, ‘shrimp and grits’, ‘southern fried quail with celeriac slaw’ and ‘beetroot salad, goats curd and hazlenuts’ on offer alongside more interesting classic dishes of mackerel and rhubarb, hanger steak, roast shallots and bone marrow, lamb shoulder and a variety of starters, bar snacks and puddings. Sides include mac & cheese, Boston baked beans but also our own much beloved champ. Puds include deliciously salty cheeses, (homemade?) ice creams and more substantial things like pink lady apple tart tatin. I had the pink prppercorn meringue & passion fruit frozen yoghurt that proved to be an awesome fusion of textures and tastes. Savoury crunchy popping candy with a blanket of soft and creamy tropicality. Delicious. The wine list is worth a note too- super extensive and largely all organic or biodynamic, it's clearly well thought out and skilfully pieced together. The best part is that some come by the carafe so you have more of a chance to try more than just one of those that appeal. To please all tastes and pockets we had a 2010 Nero D'avola Sicilian ITG organic box wine for £12.80, but we could easily have gone a lot wilder. Next time. The decor and the heady ambience is the final point to note. Both border on quirky but not overdone. There is a large grassy mural that paints the wall from head to toe on one side of the main dining space and a collection of the tables look more like sawed tree trunks completing the overall eartheral theme. But this also works with an edgier sense of angular design. Stripes and bright colours, akin to those on Karpo's logo bedeck the other walls on canvases that scatter the rest of the brickwork. Downstairs the atmosphere is cosier with leather sofas, large book case and a fireplace. To boot there is a long American style bar with pictures of moviestars and other 50s style characters hanging overhead. With each area of this place having its own strong identity you could very easily stay here all day. Staff are awesome. Food is imaginative. Wine list excellent and decor vibrant. I genuinely can't wait to go back again soon.

Rich M

17 March 2012  
Food & Drink 4
Service 3.5
Atmosphere 2.5
Value 3
If one were crazy enough to open a restaurant in London then it's fair to say that King's Cross wouldn't be the obvious place for i unless you were intent on proving your craziness to all and sundry. Despite the money being pumped into the area, it's going to be a while before anybody in their right mind heads there for anything other than the train station. That being said, if you are going to open a new resto, it's important to stand out from the crowd. And one way to stand out, when you're surrounded by a million and one single item places around serving only burgers or only fried chicken or only subs or only sarnies, is to make sure you serve absolutely eeeeverything… After some excellent lemon soused pickled veg and moreish (if teetotal) bourbon pecan nuts we greedily attacked the menu. There's a lot I like the look of, but very little that readily goes together as a meal. From an overly diverse selection of hot and cold starters we travelled from Britain to Finland via the Deep South. With the exception of an over plasticised Lobster Mac ‘n’ cheese, the other plates worked well, if not necessarily together. Southern Fried Quail was finger lickin' excellent, the oft dry bird protected and gamey flavours enhanced by a spicy, crispy crumb. Scandinavian style eel on a dark nutty rye was a silkily simple morsel perfectly executed as was a firm and rich British classic of brawn on toast. I'd tried to match the Southern theme with a main of ‘Shrimp and Grits’. Pleasant enough, it just wasn't as I'd expected. Traditionally served as a slightly looser mixture, the corn grits were here more like a firm toasted polenta cake, topped with four or five big plump shrimps and doused in a rich salty gravy. Not actively unpleasant, but neither was it entirely satisfying. The polenta came hotter than the sun, an unwelcome plating error. Other mains veered from Asian influenced fish, via Moroccan chicken through to North European potato pancakes. As I say, none of us had a bad meal, there just wasn't a central concept to hang it off. Like the food, there's definitely a deal of thought gone into the design of the place, though it tries to be as all encompassing as the menu. The interior designer must have had an awfully challenging time. You can imagine the conversation over the mood boards. “Ok, I'm not sure on the menu concept, it looks like you're trying to offer a little bit of everything, which is great, so we could take the design from any number of these five different styles, which do you prefer?”. “All of them… Let's have all of them. At the same time…” There's Lower East Side concrete chic into Scandi furniture and an eco/sustainable herb wall, a British member's bar downstairs next door to a Hard Rock styled section with plectrum tables and wall mounted guitars and that's without mentioning the black, red and gold blinged bathroom suitable for an oligarch. Enough already, just don't come here with a headache… Quirks also exist at the similarly schizophrenic Bob Bob Ricard, but there the design pulls it together perfectly and while the menu moves around, there's plenty you can make a great meal from. Neither Karpo's menu or decor really seem to know what they're trying to achieve currently, and to be honest neither do we, which is a shame, as there's definitely talent in the open plan galley kitchen at the back, focused too widely on an extensive range of disparate dishes. It's a pleasant enough meal, made good by excellent company, but there isn't anything else that'll drag me back here and I couldn't begin to describe it well enough to send anyone else.

Stephen B

11 February 2012  
Food & Drink 5
Service 4
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
Was advised to visit this newly opened resturant what an eye opener urban yes but stunning with walls of living plants not your normal plastic. Then the meals we had were simple but full of the hidden favours Then the Puds had to have two with taste of two others well done a resturant that we will be visiting again. Have noted that they change there window displays three times aday with the change of service. Whilst we where eating people where coming in and taking away the pasties what a change for a good resturant to do take away. A must for all to visit
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