When you hear “green gourmet” is the concept for a restaurant, you go expecting little more than a splodge of organic hummus and a purple carrot crudité, right? Surely it’s just some place where hippy vibes and pretentious chefs combine to serve London’s most piddly portions of overpriced organic fare, huh? That’s exactly what our writer, Alice Tate thought en route to T.E.D, Jamie Grainger-Smith’s eco eatery in Kings Cross. Fortunately her initial perceptions were all wrong...
T.E.D, or Think.Eat.Drink is Jamie Grainger Smith’s first restaurant. Functioning as a consultancy firm which encourages restaurants to act more responsibly and ‘green up’ (if you will), now with its own establishment T.E.D vows to serve only ethically-sourced food in an environmentally-friendly setting, all the while aiming to give diners “a stylish and relaxing restaurant experience” where Modern British food is served. Here here.
Arriving, I was surprised to see no hanging plants, no compost heap blocking the entrance, no harem pants even. It looked perfectly normal, cool in fact, with its sleek and modern Scandinavian-designed furniture, leather booths, mirrors on the shabby chic wall panelsand pretty flowers in vases. It’s a nice fresh and airy space with lots of natural light and the doors left open to give a bit of an ‘al fresco’ air.
No complaints. We arrived and were at our table with bread within minutes. Two minutes later our olives arrived and the wine. We were helpfully guided through the menu’s highlights and made our decisions accordingly. The waiters know their stuff too – one overheard me making yummy noises over the bread and didn’t hesitate to let me know their supplier. Catering to our demands, my partner was in the market for a non-alcoholic summery cocktail and they had no trouble whipping up an off-menu Virgin Mojito (which was better than the actual mojito I’ll add).
I’d made the general assumption before arriving that ‘green gourmet’ was synonymous with fresh and healthy, so could put money on the fact that the dishes here wouldn’t be laden with oil or doused in greasy sauces. Fortunately I was right; T.E.D’s dishes are all about clean eating, though not in an OTT way. More in the sense that you can happily eat your starter and main (and maybe share dessert) without feeling like you should hit the gym on the way home. Likewise, you can guarantee all the food is guilt-free in the sense of where it's come from. T.E.D conciously sources its ingredients from responsible local suppliers, including the likes of Neal's Yard Dairy, Natoora, Fresh Direct, Cobble Lane Cured and Fish For Thought.
My Burrata starter was delicious. The creamy ball of mozzarella exploded once my fork hit it and the milky centre flooded the plate, mixing well with the fresh tomato and balsamic salad. The Cornish crab on toast is also a winning starter with its very generous serving of fresh, meaty crab, toped with shaved radishes.
Our main dishes were equally wholesome. A pan-fried fillet of sea bass was served on a chunky carrot and orange puree, which was zingy and unexplainably Christmassy, not to mention far more exciting than your standard white wine sauce. The English Lamb was perfectly tender and delicious. Instead of being outweighed by carby sides, it was served on a bed of white beans in a light but flavoursome vegetable sauce.
As for the sides, I do struggle to see chips on a menu and not order them so the fried Maris Pipers were our little bit of (extra delicious) naughtiness, with the perfect ratio of crispy to fluffy.
Too full to justify a dessert each, we merged our dessert and after-dinner coffees into one and shared the affogato with pistachios. Delicious it was too, and the perfect finale to a meal of sophisticated flavours. Next time though, we’ll make sure to leave room for the trifle because it looked mouth-wateringly brilliant.
A well-located, modern restaurant that serves quality, tasty grub. Perfect for catching up with a pal or for a casual after work.
T.E.D, 47-51 Caledonian Road, Kings Cross, London, N1 9BU; 020 3763 2080.
For more information follow T.E.D on Twitter @TEDrestaurant