On first impressions T.E.D. (‘Think. Eat. Drink.’) is a smart and good-looking place in a rather dowdy street behind King’s Cross station. The menu prices suggest it’s not aimed at lost backpackers, but at much more affluent folk.
One starter and one main course were vegetarian on the Modern European selection – a surprisingly limited choice in a restaurant which makes a meal on its website out of ‘embracing those who wish to think, eat and drink more ethically’. Our courgette risotto with mozzarella and courgette flower main course (£13.50) was disappointing, not least because the promised courgette flower wasn’t there. When we queried this, our waitress told us that they’d run out, so the kitchen replaced it with a sliver of flowerless courgette (but hadn’t thought to mention this to us). Prompted by our query, the manager knocked 30 percent off the cost of the dish because of the omission.
Starters of beef tartare and braised squid with pearl barley and gremolata were much better, though both were slightly heavy-handed on the seasoning. The simpler the dish, the better it seemed to be: The lemon sole with cockles and girolles was the highlight, the fish was fresh and cooked à point.
When I checked with the Sustainable Restaurant Association to obtain an independent audit of the restaurant, none had yet been requested by T.E.D., though around a thousand restaurants in London have been audited. So we’re unable to comment on just how sustainable it actually is.
T.E.D. is brought to us by the founder of Acorn House, a short-lived restaurant, also in King’s Cross, that was much along the same lines as this new venture. History might just be repeating itself.