Magenta King’s Cross is kind of a rule breaker. A trail of hundreds of pink butterflies adorns the walls and the avant garde interior designed by Henry Chebaane is a real spectacle to behold! The vibe is playful, modern and steampunk, accented with bright magenta chairs, pressed vine table tops and eye-catching test tubes of pink liquid. It is hardly surprising: Magenta sits proudly at The Megaro hotel; known for its bold exterior and designs.
The modern Italian restaurant boasts an inventive and well-balanced menu written by Executive Head Chef, Manuele Bazzoni. If rumours are to be believed, Bazzoni spent his entire lockdown perfecting just one single item, the charcoal sourdough. Knowing this, we couldn’t wait to try it!
The cocktails follow the same theme as the room. They are bold and do not apologise for it. The modern bar is located quite centrally giving guests a great opportunity to sip their hedonistic delights while taking in the sights.
My dining partner and I sat at one of the pressed vine tables. It felt at first like sitting in an art installation but we quickly relaxed into our surroundings. Once the menus arrived, our server passionately described some of his recommendations he thought we should try.
We scoffed canapes which arrived pretty as a picture. Goats cheese, beetroot and walnut choux bun had just the right amount of fluffy and creamy. The charred sweetcorn tartlet tasted delicate, smoky and simple.
Then came the infamous bread with thick, peppery olive oil, poured table side. The olive oil was Italian, naturally, and contrasted the loaf beautifully. A year in the making, we devoured this in seconds – perhaps a little too quickly for the time and care taken for its’ conception!
Then a crispy cannelloni of Dorset crab emerged. This dish was light and compelling. The delicate crunch compliments the soft crab filling. Bisque jelly, preserved lemon and basil puree play on the senses. I could have eaten this for every course!
We paired this with this morning’s burrata and pistachio pesto. This morning we asked? It was because the burrata was made fresh that very day. Creamy cheese contrasted sweet, charred apricot and savoury crumb. Great for sharing and dipping bread into.
The next course came highly recommended and you can see why. A spectacular, oversized scallop ravioli arrived with lavender cream and dill oil. The sauces pooled around the pasta elegantly and made for a visually stunning dish. Al dente hand pinched agnolotti, stuffed with slow cooked beef was drizzled with a rich, reduced beef sauce and finished with roasted hazelnuts. This dish felt uncomplicated, with simple flavours that worked brilliantly and paid homage to true Italian cookery.
Our second course (“secondi”) was halibut and lamb. The lamb loin ‘in crosta’ was a huge pastry encased loin of meat cooked pink or well done. It was served with a potato cake, similar to a pomme Anna. The Bagna Cauda was a garlicky punch to round off all that meaty flavour.
The seared halibut arrived with a mushroom jam on top, looking like it had just surfaced from the sea, seaweed still attached! Again, visually this had been well thought out. Metallic purple puree (tropea onion) was a playful nod to restaurant’s theme. Alongside the meal, staff expertly selected wines to complement our choices. The Italian wine list is impressive and offers a range for all palates and budgets.
For dessert, we chose the Maldon sea salt and caramel ganache. Just the right size without being overly sweet. Had we left enough room, we could have polished off the whole plate!
Magenta King’s Cross is an intriguing restaurant and somewhere that certainly catches the eye. Coming to Magenta, you can expect well executed Italian cookery, a modern wine list and hospitality at its best.
To discover more, visit: magentarestaurant.co.uk
All imagery courtesy of Magenta Restaurant / Frankie Field.
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