By Majella Taylor
Kings Cross has changed a great deal since my arrival in London in 1996. It wasn’t really an area you would visit unless completely necessary, and it certainly wasn’t the humdrum of food and drink offerings that it is today.
The Michelin endorsed Magenta is located within The Megaro Hotel on the doorstep of Kings Cross. The bold cerise and butterfly clad interior instantly transports you away from the hustle and bustle of its surroundings to a place of decadence and opulence and considering how close it is to the station, serenity, and stillness.
High ceilings, large windows and dramatic décor welcome you to their lavish lounge banquettes and impeccably stylish tables. Designer Henry Chebaane has given this former bank the WOW factor.
The menu, designed by Manuele Bazzoni is not over complicated and the Tasting Menu is fantastic value for money and definitely the right choice if you’re wishing to sample the range of the à la carte menu, and infallible talents of the kitchen team.
Magenta’s exciting and extensive wine list and carafe availability makes a Ladies’ lunch much easier than having to sacrifice your libation likings to share a bottle.
We had high expectations for the upcoming lunch, and we were already enlivened by the experience so far. Wine ordered, we began with a cocktail each to tantalise the tastebuds and wake the senses.
The Tasting Menu commences with their signature charcoal sourdough and their own imported ‘Tonda Iblea’ extra Virgin Olive oil, with its unique flavours and distinctive peppery aftertaste.
We were thrilled by the smoked eel, horseradish and apple tartlet, Mortadella and pistachio cannolo and my favourite, the 30 months aged Parmesan fritter. A light and fluffy yet invigorating pastry.
The cured seabass, watercress emulsion with orange and pickled mustard was well balanced and delicate, finishing with the zingy and fragrant kick of the orange.
On to the next course. After a recent unpleasant experience with rabbit, I was reluctant to try it again, however, my curiosity got the better of me. All concerns were quashed, and I was delighted with the smooth texture of the Braised rabbit barchette and deep velvety marigold and burnt onion jus. A truly pleasurable Primo.
A stunning dish of steamed halibut fillet, smoked mussels, razor clams, pork belly snow and lovage was next to arrive. Perfectly cooked with the accompaniment of a razor clam shell full of pork belly snow, which melted slowly on your tongue and delighted me and my non-pork loving pal. An electrifying elegant twist of culinary genius.
Tender roasted succulent duck with peppercorn and lavender, rhubarb and three corner garlic was next to grace our table with its sublime flavour combinations and stimulating textures. Ribbons of rhubarb danced on your palate with a freshness that elevated the duck. Perfection.
To finish, a menu resident since their opening; Maldon Sea Salt and Caramel ganache with Piedmont hazelnut and banana ice cream. The outside swirls are a sauce made of Vecchia Romagna 1820 Brandy and gold leaf, blended to a syrupy consistency, adding a little extra luxury. A sophisticated dish full of nostalgia.
So, what’s the verdict?
Don’t be put off by its vicinity to the hustle and bustle. A visit to Magenta is a very special one. Its steampunk inspired corridors and two extra bars (One of them unique and secretive) make Magenta the destination restaurant of your desires without the arduous and boring journey to get there.
A truly memorable experience on the doorstep of kings Cross.
A glorious escapade I’m not likely to forget in a while.
Thank you to all the Magenta team for their talents, dedication, and hospitality.