Absolutely Eat’s Out – The Coal Office King’s Cross
It’s a sharing plates idea and everything sounds intriguing and slightly mysterious. From a list of breads we choose Kubalah, described as soft Yemeni brioche with tahini, grated tomato and schug. What’s schug? It’s a Middle Eastern hot herb sauce, apparently, and the bread is a warm, cakey brioche with a perfect, almost crisp crust, and the dip is so moreish that really we would have been fine with just that, and lots of it. From the Small Plates list we choose Agvania: “summer tomatoes two ways, Israeli salad, strawberry coulis, basil oil, olive cracker”, which is a striking-looking half beef tomato, cooked slightly and filled with tiny cubes of cucumber and resting in what tastes like a chilled strawberry-infused tomato gazpacho. Another small plate is Iraqui Tropical – this is probably our favourite – yellow tail sashimi with amba pickled okra, mango, cucumber, ginger and red chilli. There’s a distinct flavour that we struggle to identify – and this is where sitting near the chefs helps. It’s the amba, which is fermented mango, she reveals.