Price: Approximately £45-£50 per head for 3 courses
Parrillan is an outdoor, terraced restaurant in the newly formed Coal Drops Yard area of Kings Cross (basically a large warehouse like space with a bunch of supposedly cool restaurants). I say ‘supposedly’, because for me, Parrillan was a bit of a let down. Oozing chicness from the outside with its massive terrace and vegetation encircling the vicinity, my first impression was that of a glamorous haunt which you might find on the French Riviera. However, once we settled down I realised there was more to it than first meets the eye.
Parrillan is the sister restaurant of my favourite tapas restaurant in London, Barrafina, so I had visions of it being just as great. However, firstly, it’s pretty unwise to build a solely outdoor restaurant in a place like England. It was a fairly windy day, and the heaters cleverly don’t cover the entire dining area, so we spent the evening frozen, and eating quickly to get back home to warmth. An indoor area and heaters covering all areas probably would have been more sensible in a city that is cold most of the time!
Things perked up around the starters, which were the only saving grace of the meal. In fact, I’d recommend solely ordering starters, as they were miles ahead of the mains. The escalivada was a highlight, featuring smoky aubergine on crostini, and the tomato based dishes were made from what tasted like super fresh ingredients.
The main event was the parilla – a grill used to barbecue your own meat, fish and vegetables at the table. I suppose for the novelty factor, this could be considered fun. However, the meat and fish was unseasoned and cost a bomb (£9 for 2 scallops that you have to cook yourselves?!?). They give you sauces on the side but it’s not great value for money and didn’t taste particularly special.
You’ve also only got yourself to blame if you end up poisoning yourselves. The staff don’t really provide instructions on how long to cook the meat so if you’re new to the bbq watch out!
So, should you visit? If you have cash to splash and want an alternative dining experience I’d recommend giving it a go. Go heavy on the starters and bring a jacket. Otherwise buy a BBQ from Asda and a couple of sausages and it will probably cost less than a meal for 2 here.
Location: Coal Drops Yard, Stable Street, Kings Cross, N1C 4PW