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Isla at the Standard Hotel

  • Restaurants
  • King’s Cross
  • price 3 of 4
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  1. Photograph: Charlie McKay
    Photograph: Charlie McKay
  2. Photograph: Charlie McKay
    Photograph: Charlie McKay
  3. Photograph: Charlie McKay
    Photograph: Charlie McKay
  4. Photograph: David Cleveland
    Photograph: David Cleveland
  5. Photograph: David Cleveland
    Photograph: David Cleveland
  6. Photograph: David Cleveland
    Photograph: David Cleveland
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Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

An all-day modern European restaurant on the ground floor of The Standard hotel.

Entered through a shimmering, sequin-lined walkway, Isla is a well-designed thing of beauty. There is a furry wall that you want to stroke, slick mid-century decor, and thriving plants. It’s like being on the set of ‘Mad Men’.

The food is pleasant enough but doesn’t live up to the room’s suave appearance. The sea bass ceviche was the best of everything we ate, with thin slices of ripe grapes and a spot of genius: pink peppercorns emitting pops of heat, instead of the traditional chilli. Also good: a majestic-looking broccoli with garlic yoghurt (though it wasn’t charred as promised).

But there were lots of flaws. A small plate of pickled crudités was overpowered by cheap-tasting vinegar. There were similar issues with other dishes: frisée salad was doused in an overwhelming dressing and a basic cuttlefish bolognese was too herby for the few bits of mollusc to shine. The cacao ganache for dessert was tasty but came served with parsnip ice cream. Did the rogue combo work? Nope.

But Isla scores points for being inclusive (there are loads of veggie and vegan options) and if your aim is to escape the chaos of King’s Cross – for a meeting with 1950s ad execs, say – there are few better-looking places to do it.

Written by
Ella Braidwood

Details

Address:
10 Argyle St
London
WC1H 8EG
Transport:
Tube: King's Cross
Price:
Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £130.
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