Opening a new restaurant during the last year was a tall order, but after visiting this new vibrant and very funky restaurant opposite St Pancras station, I really hope that Magenta becomes a staple on the London dining scene.
On entering the restaurant, the first thing that hits you is the striking interior which was designed by renowned British artist and designer, Henry Chebaane and echoes the 19th century heritage of the building in which it is housed; the industrial-age heritage and vibrancy of the contemporary artistic culture of Kings Cross and its immigrant Italian community. Hundreds of magenta butterflies are intricately positioned on the very stylish air conditioning pipework which runs the length of the restaurant, and which blends seamlessly into the furniture below. As well as the stunning main restaurant, there is a charming outdoor terrace for al fresco dining and drinking, and two individually-designed and distinctive private dining rooms. This is where you will find the he Mauve Private Carriage, a fantastical steampunk dining carriage, a nod to yesteryear Kings’ Cross, and The Victory Room, with its high vaulted window, overlooking the entrance of The Megaro Hotel, taking its name from the stately rooms of HMS Victory, which includes a table created from the timbers of this iconic ship.
Before being seated at our table for dinner we decided to enjoy a cocktail at the bar, I chose a Pink Pantera, which was a blend of rose wine, select liqueur, raspberry, vanilla and tonic, topped off with pink candy floss which could be used to sweeten the drink if desired. It was elegantly presented and tasted delicious. We were seated at one of the few booths towards the back of the dining room, which gave us some privacy while also being part of the action.
Chef Manuele Bazzoni has crafted a four-course A la carte menu based on favourite flavours from his native Northern Italy, honed to new levels reflecting his 15 year culinary career in London, including as Head Chef at Le Boudin Blanc, and Trinity, before he joined the Megaro Hotel four years ago. We started with Manuele’s unique recipe for charcoal flour bread, which we enjoyed with a high quality Italian olive oil.
After worrying if we could get through the four courses and being persuaded by our very knowledgeable waiter, I went on to order the crispy cannelloni of Dorset crab with bisque jelly and preserved lemon gel which was extremely flavoursome yet light and just made me more excited for what was to come. For primi I opted for the scallops ravioli, samphire with Vermouth and lavender sauce. This was probably my favourite of all the courses, it was special in taste and presentation. For secondi I had the seared halibut with mushroom jam, lardo, fresh peas, girolles, tropea onion puree and Nasturtium butter sauce. Feeling rather full, I tried to say no to a dessert but was talked into it (quite easily) and ordered the Maldon sea salt and caramel ganache with Vecchia Romagna jelly and Piedmont hazelnut. This menu can be ordered with wine pairing, however on this occasion we went for a gorgeous bottle of red off their extensive wine list selected by the restaurant’s sommelier.
There is a really lovely atmosphere in this restaurant, which feels uniquely luxurious and hands down glamorous – I will definitely be returning!