Kitchin N1 is a buffet restaurant close to Kings Cross station, with an annoying mis-spelling. It covers Italian, Chinese, Indian and Thai food, though the last wasn’t really on display. In practice, there was a salad bar, a fried food selection, a stir fry station, a mini-burger grill, and a range of hot (or lukewarm) dishes (mostly Indian or Chinese). There was also a dessert table including an ice cream machine. You pay a fixed price depending on which day and time you visit. Lunch is £9 except for Sunday when there is a roast for an extra £2; dinner is £17 Sunday to Thursday and £18 Friday and Saturday; kids pay £6 if they are both under 10 years old and 150cm!
Friday is meant to be fish and seafood day, but there didn’t seem to be much of either in evidence, though there was one baked hake (which, being whole, the British customers couldn’t cut into while looking it in the eye…fiancée of course no such hang-ups). The interior is quite dark if you sit away from the window, as the neon lights don’t do much illumination. The evening music began with a best of disco, then moved on to modern pop.
The staff are quite friendly and quick to take away your plates; they are also not too patronising when they explain the ice cream machine to diners for the third time! The food was fairly predictable – nothing delicious but nothing absolutely terrible (though I almost certainly wouldn’t have picked up something that looked that bad, I suppose)…in reflection perhaps the fruit fell into the latter category.
I thought the tawa (here chick peas, tiny pakora and tomatoes), the vegetable curry and some of the non-leaf salads were good, but I wouldn’t have much of the fried vegetarian starter selection on return. Fiancée liked the hake and the chicken, both fried and tandoori, but wasn’t impressed by the mini burger or the ready prepared noodles. Neither of us tried the fresh noodles, which would almost certainly have been better than the, er, staler ones.
The dessert selection was quite limited and seemed like it had been standing for a long time. This had left the fruit salad very soft, a little sour, and everything tasting unpleasantly of everything else, somehow. To be fair, although the devil cake looked similarly bad, it tasted very good to me. In summary Kitchin probably costs too much for what they offer at weekends, but you might get better value in the week or at lunch. Drinks are extra and standard London prices.
Address: 8 Caledonia Street, London N1 9DZ