CôBa, King’s Cross: restaurant review
Vietnamese cooking meets modern Australian design in this North London neighbourhood restaurant and cocktail bar on York Way
What's the draw
Next time you find yourself halfway between Kings Cross and Caledonian Road – famished from that long old walk – get yourself to CôBa, a cosy Australian-inspired Vietnamese BBQ joint by the guys behind the Table for 10 supper club, Damon Bui and MJ Gadhavi.
What to drink
If you think CôBa's twinkling copper and brushed-wood interiors are pretty, wait until you see the cocktails. The Gold Digger, a nectarous combination of mango gin, Aperol and Lillet Blanc, is topped with a dusty pink boule of rhubarb, watermelon and mint sorbet while another highlight, the smooth and caramelly Man on Fire (made with Maker's Mark bourbon, sweet and dry vermouth, bacon and cherry) is literally delivered to the table alongside a smoking conical of well, smoke. Creativity leads at CôBa and its cocktail menu is a nice reminder that neighbourhood restaurants can, and often do, offer up a drinks selection that could rival any central London bar.
What to eat
This place is all about sets of three, a reflection of CôBa's mixed Australian, Vietnamese and British heritage. Everything about the restaurant gives a nod to the number, from its name (CôBa is named after Damon's mum. It translates as 'auntie number three,' the affectionate nickname his family gave her for being the third sibling) to the triangular pendant lighting and the short but considered menu, which is split three ways into small plates, noodle salads and pho. Coincidentally (or maybe not), three sharing plates between two is probably enough to set you up for a decent feasting session, any more and you risk peaking mid-meal. And nobody wants that, do they? We'd recommend chowing down on the lamb cutlets – they're tender, smoky and barbequed over charcoal until the fat is lip-smackingly soft and melty – and the comforting beef pho, which, when it comes to this Vietnamese staple, is everything you could hope for and more.
Mains from £11, cocktails from £7.50; 244 York Way, N7 9AG. cobarestaurant.co.uk