THE POWDER KEG
The Powder Keg, nestled on a quiet street in Kings Cross, is a gin bar and restaurant like no other that we know of. Their gin collection is rumoured to be the largest in the southern hemisphere and the sophisticated dining room serves quality, high-end food at casual dining prices. Although there is clearly a focus on the food in this venue, the true beauty of the place is the man behind bar, renowned mixologist Grant Collins, and his ability to match incredible cocktails with each and every offering. [S] You know you are in the right place when the owner greets you with not just one but two welcome drinks! The fact that the cocktail came with a little union jack flag means he knows his patrons well. [W] I’m also feeling at home here as Grant’s chiseled jaw, London gangster accent and killer smile reminds me of every episode of Eastenders I’ve ever seen! On a serious note attention to detail is something The Powder Keg does extremely well. Through the night we experienced 10 of Grants amazing innovative cocktails and almost half of the food menu and each and every dish or drink send our taste buds into a frenzy. [S] We started with the Steak Tartare, egg yolk, chips, and mustard. What a way to kick off proceedings. Traditionally this dish of very few ingredients so its not always easy to get flavour into but TPK’s version will blow you away. It’s up there with the best I’ve ever had. [W] The quail scotch egg was next up and I loved the different approach that’s taken here. As connoisseurs of the scotch egg it’s great to see one of our favorites being evolved in such an impressive way. The addition of the light fluffy smoked potato is an absolute delight. [S] Some of the more simple menu items like the raw beetroot or the roasted pumpkin sound pretty standard but the flavour that is packed into these dishes is phenomenal and they will be the first to be ordered when we return. Visiting The Powder Keg isn’t about going out for a quick feed or a couple of familiar drinks. An evening in this restaurant is an experience, a journey, we would even go as far to say it is theatre. Everything presented to you in the restaurant and bar is a talking point. For example, the smoked aged Negroni required a chemistry lab to make it and another cocktail came with homemade bubblegum that you chewed before taking your first sip to enhance the flavours in the drink. There is liquid nitrogen, fire, smoke, you even stir truffle into one cocktail but seemingly nothing is for show. Every method has purpose and it’s usually to overload your senses in the most pleasurable way. What makes the experience all more impressive is that it isn’t pretentious. The team working there are relaxed, friendly and approachable. You really must see the master of mixology in action and enjoy for yourself how well he pairs drinks to the stunning food that comes out of TPK’s kitchen. With The Powder Keg being exempt from the lock out, ‘The Cross’ is most definitely open for business.