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Searcys (St Pancras Grand Brasserie, London)

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Address: St Pancras Grand, St Pancras Station, Upper Concourse, Euston Road, London, N1C 4QL

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      18.06.2012 13:07
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      An excellent train station restaurant... if perhaps a little pricey.

      This restaurant is located within St Pancras International railway station in London, home of Eurostar, trains to Luton Airport in addition to many domestic rail routes from both here and Kings Cross directly next door. St Pancras has a plethora of cafes and places for a light bite but very few actual restaurants. If you are looking for a proper meal either prior to or returning from a trip, you could do alot worse than here.
      The restaurant is located on the upper concourse besides the champagne bar. It's a large restaurant charmingly decorated in a mid 20th century style, often feeling more New York than London railway. Upholstery is leather and the place is awash with gold trim. Elegant 50's style cube and globe lampshades dominate the room offering a warm, ambient glow and table partitions boast an intricate art deco pattern. The ambience is one of class and timelessness.

      Given the opulent decor, it's surprisingly not too stuffy in atmosphere, service and menu. It's not a particularly noisy restaurant, owing largely to it's size and people generally keeping chatter to a whisper. The service was friendly enough. You are greeted at the door where you can leave luggage and are shown to your table. Waiting staff were friendly and polite although did fall foul of one of my pet hates - asking if everything is OK with the food within minutes of it appearing and before you've even had a mouthful. That aside, it was professional, efficient and smart.
      The menu is fairly simple and I suppose has an almost pub feel. They have a set a la carte menu featuring British staples plus a daily special. We've been twice and once ate fish & chips an the second time had a steak burger. In both instances, the food was excellent. The fish was very fresh tasting (almost too fishy!) and wasn't too dry and the batter crispy. The fat chips were some of the best I've had. Similarly, the burger was also very good and huge! The meat was prime steak mince and cooked perfectly so it remained succulent. It came served with French fries which were again exceptional in their crispiness. What they do here is simple and fancy free but they do it really well. If you want something comforting after a long days traveling it fits the bill perfectly.

      On the subject of the bill, it ain't cheap! My only grumble would be that for what you get, it is quite expensive. For 2 beef burgers and a half bottle of red wine we paid nearly £60 (including service) which was a bit steep. I suppose you are also paying for the location and the inflated price dining in a train station or airport will bring. The food was just under £17 per burger which seemed expensive, but where they really seem to make their profit is on wine. For a half bottle carafe of wine (equivalent to 2 large glasses) we paid around £17... And that was for one of their cheapest! The wine list did look impressive though if you have the cash to splash. They also serve lager on tap.
      As for cleanliness, no complaints here. Tables were cleared quickly and were clean and beautifully laid when we arrived. The toilets were also very clean and to a high standard. For lavatories, they were quite elegant!

      Inflated price aside, there's little I can really criticize. Perhaps the menu could be more adventurous but if you want something simple and comforting, this is an excellent place to go.

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