a few weekends ago i headed to london for a foodie weekend, which featured a long overdue trip to sticks n sushi after a day out at feast foodies festival. travelling down to london on friday night, i had to find somewhere near st pancras for a light bite to eat and catch up over a bottle of wine. camino ticked all the boxes; round the corner from kings cross, a well stocked bar and a tasty looking spanish menu. but how would it stack up?
the interior was dark and moody, with flashes of terracotta, burnt orange and raging bull red nodding towards the spanish theme. with tables set fairly close together, the restaurant is opened up with a striking glass dome ceiling, cleverly placed lighting, exposed brickwork and an open kitchen.
incidentally, the very close seating plan meant there was an awkward shuffle to get to our prebooked seats without worrying about sending plates of tapas flying on the neighbouring table. however, once settled, service was prompt and we had a bottle of white, a freshly topped up glass of water and menu recommendations within minutes.
we agreed upon a few seafood tapas dishes and a spanish cheese board to share, which came with homemade spiced tomato jam, quince jelly and fig cake. this came in the form of a blue cabrales, manchego, mahon and zamorano. it took us a while to work out which went with what but that was the fun of it. the tomato chutney had a certain mulled wine-esque christmas taste to it, in fact this felt like quite a festive cheese board and a delicious one at that. we accompanied this with a gotim sauvignon blanc 2013, £26.50 a bottle, which was crisp, light and had a touch of floral.
alongside the cheese we had the cornish monkfish wrapped in pancetta, leek gratin and a romesco sauce, sautéed tiger prawns, chilli garlic and white wine as well as some customary calamari with aioli.
the monkfish was my favourite of all the dishes; with the meaty but fall-apart monkfish wrapped in crispy ham on a bed of moreish red pepper sauce. the part which looks suspiciously like pineapple was actually a leek gratin which was softer than expected but incredibly tasty all the same. i almost wish i'd had this dish to myself and soon found myself dipping cheese in the romesco sauce until the plate was completely clean.
the calamari was delicious, but forgettable. by that i mean it answered all my calamari needs with the crispy outer, tender inside and garlicky accompaniment. i couldn't complain and i would probably order again, but i wouldn't say it was the best calamari i'd ever had.
the prawns were impressively huge, with a delicate seasoning and nice bite. they were tasty, although i think i was expecting more for £9, when you think the calamari was £5.50 and mussels were £5.
camino has a great location, fun atmosphere and friendly, attentive service. what's more, you can book a table online, which can be a rarity in london, ready for when you step on the platform. i enjoyed all the food i had and would probably return if i was meeting friends after a train. however i think i'd like to try out the more reasonably priced vegetarian options at a £4-6.50 maximum price point, as i still think i would have had a really enjoyable meal with a happier purse.
camino king's cross
3 varnishers yard
the regent’s quarter
note:we paid for our own meals and all opinions are my own.