I'm mad about seafood, and since Shimpy's, located in an old filling station in King's Cross seemed to have hallmarks of two of my favourite things I ate in 2013 on their menu. (Soft shell crab, in Shrimpy's signature burger, which I first fell in love with by way of a soft shell crab taco at Street Feast Europe, and ceviche, which I became obsessed with when I was introduced to Peruvian food at Lima) I felt it would make a great Sunday spot for my first weekend back in London. Also, I still had Lucy's amazing photos of their soft shell crab burgers in my head. Last weekend was actually pretty awesome food wise; keep any eye out for my first Weekly Love of 2014 tomorrow which will feature some of the awesome things I ate in Parson's Green on the Saturday.
Let us start with the burger itself, my main course? I had it sans the cheese, because I can't eat it, but it was still totally delicious. The deep fried and battered soft shell crab was crunchy, sweet and meaty, and went perfectly in the burger with the special made mayo. I do feel that the crispy bacon in the burger to may have been overkill, but it might be better in the burger with the cheese? Something else I think I ought to warn you of at the outset is that we were rather lucky with our table and we got there right when it opened at 12pm; you really ought to book if you want a table. However, if you get there and it is full, it is literally less than 5 minutes walk to Caravan, and another restaurant I want to try and have heard great things about, Grain Store.
It was after 12pm and it was a Sunday, and there were no Bloody Mary's on the menu, so obviously I had to treat myself to a Pisco Sour. Or two. It was these, and the lovely typeface of the Shrimpy's menus and the fun decor (I want a pineapple lamp) that removed the chore of waiting for our food to arrive.
Now, for the first time in forever, even though my starter was absolutely delicious and I could not fault it I got serious order envy and regret. My lunch dates Beef Tostada starter that you can see above was exquisite, and I don't think the two bites I got were nearly enough. The lettuce and radish shavings were layered up with lovely and thin pieces of seared steak that were so sweet and tender, and the bottom of the salad was formed by a crispy, tortilla type base that was very, very spicy. This dish alone, for me is the only reason needed to return sometime soon.
Though, going on and on about the beef, I don't think I'm giving my very refreshing ceviche much credit. My generous serving of sea bass (I could have gone for more squid on my plate, though) was served in a delicious mixture of chilli and coriander laced olive oil and lemon juice. The red onions gave it a pleasant kick, and the micro herbs on top really packed a punch. Honestly, for people who are not meat eaters or not really a fan of beef, this is by no way a compromise if the first of our selections at the weekend does not take your fancy.
Why is it that most guys can manage to eat so much more meat in one sitting than us girls? Anyway, I digress. My companion went for the skirt steak, which was served medium rare on a bed of chimichurri sauce and cherry tomatoes. From the bite I stole, I can tell you it was delicious.
While it all made for a lovely lunch, I feel that Shrimpy's at this time of year would make a much better option for a long dinner with friends when you can spend more time sampling the cocktail list and you'll have more room for some of the nibbles on offer; we were both too full for dessert (and all we had was a side of chips), and I wanted to try the guac. In the Summer though, I think this will make a fantastic spot with their terrace outside.