What's the draw
After cutting her teeth with Angela Hartnett at Murano, Pip Lacey's first venture as head chef is a curious case: a restaurant within a trendy clothes shop in new Coal's Yard development in King's Cross, Hicce (pronounced 'ich-ey') shares a home with independent design store Wolf & Badger. On the face of it, this combination could have turned out dull and soulless in an area not known until relatively recently for interesting places to eat, but Hicce is anything but. The space is sleek and modern but feels warm and inviting, and the food is worth a journey in itself. The name is Latin for 'modern' – seemingly chosen because they didn't want to be confined to one style of cooking, but instead take inspiration from all over Europe.
What to drink
We'd suggest starting with a few cocktails at the bar before dinner for maximum sophistication points. Wet your whistle with the Cherishu, Hicce's own take on the manhattan with rye, maraschino and cherry bitters; or the Lingroni, a negroni that uses Scandi favourite lingonberries for a dash of sweetness. As for wines, we'd recommend light and fruity organic 2017 gamay by French producer Domaine des Palais in the Loire Valley village of Roanne, while a velvety nero d'avola went down a treat with our cheese.
What to eat
Graze your way through the 'starters' where you'll encounter the likes of beer bread – an indulgently oily, richly textured take on focaccia – young, unpasteurised la rouelle goat cheese, which is smooth and delightfully creamy; and the stand out pork rillettes. As for the 'hot sticks', jammy-centred quails eggs arrived on a… well, stick, with watercress sauce and tiny raw button mushrooms, while wild red prawns served simply with butter were a highlight. Next, we settled in for the serious eating with miso butter potatoes (delicious, but not one for the light eater); crispy roasted brussels sprouts taking a star turn with crunchy toasted hazelnuts and slivers of kohlrabi carpaccio; and pork collar with reblochon – because why wouldn't you eat pork covered in melted cheese, given the opportunity?
Small plates, around £10; wines by the glass from £7.50. Hicce X Wolf & Badger, Unit 102 Coal Drops Yard, N1C 4DQ; hicce.co.uk