The latest in a seemingly endless list of (mostly excellent) new restaurant openings in the Kings Cross area, The Lighterman is an all day pub, dining room and bar type place hovering just over the canal on Granary Square. There's a promising looking terrace and lots of outside bench seating happening that wasn't quite ready when I visited last week during its soft launch, but I'm already lining it up for waterside summer drinking.
We visited for breakfast on a grey March day and got stuck in with a delicious fresh pear juice whilst surveying the menu. All the usual suspects - avocado toast, eggs benedict/florentine/royale, granola - were in place, but I was in the mood for something a bit different and had high hopes seeing as the chef is ex-Murano (more on that later).
I couldn't choose, so greedily ordered the smoked salmon and avocado salsa (£8) along with the baked eggs with avocado and tomato (£7). I'd made Rich come and check it out with me, and he predictably went for the Full English (£9).
Here's the baked egg dish. Lovely presentation and the crunchy toasted croutons were a welcome textural addition. One of my eggs was runny and one wasn't :( but I'll let them off for the soft launch.
The flavour of the tomatoes was exactly as I'd hoped and properly rich, sweet and Mediterranean. Very nice.
My other dish didn't impress as much, as whilst the salmon was truly great (and I'm pretty into my smoked salmon), the avocado salsa wasn't really as advertised. I mean, there was a smattering of chilli, but salsa? Stretching it. I liked the bonus music bread though.
Full English-wise, the ingredients are impeccably sourced and this really showed in the quality of the bacon and sausage. Everything else was perfectly fine, though it was pretty galling to find we'd been charged a full £3 for some extra toast*, nice as it was.
The soft launch meant that we enjoyed 50% off of our food - not drinks - and altogether our bill was £23.34 (remember I ordered two dishes!). We'd apparently saved £13.75, so normally you'd be looking at paying around £12-15 a head for breakfast here including the automatic 12.5% service. Fairly steep, when you consider the prices at Dishoom just round the corner.
Later on, the lunch/dinner menu has starters approx £8, with mains costing well into the late teens early twenties - especially once you consider you'd definitely need sides for most dishes. Having said that, there are some great looking wines on the list, with many around the £22 mark for something interesting that I'd very much like to get stuck in to.