VOC is a bar and restaurant in King’s Cross and is named after the Vereenigde Oost-Indische, also known as the Dutch East India Company which, from 1602, enjoyed a monopoly of the Asian spice trade.
I’ve been to the bar at VOC a few times – it’s quite small, cosy and a great place to catch up with friends over some cocktails. In fact, it’s been voted as one of the ‘World’s Top 50 Bars’. But this time, I wasn’t here for the cocktails, I was invited along to review their new menu, which is inspired by the spice routes.
The lighting in VOC is quite low, which as diners we personally love, but as a blogger it wasn’t great for taking photos! It’s perfect for a date as it’s almost like eating by candlelight. There is quite a romantic feel about the restaurant. It’s very stylish.
Our lovely waitress Bini suggested a few of the small plates for us to try, including her favourite dish the Scottish Blackface Lamb. Whilst we were deciding, we ordered a bottle of Borgo del Col Alto prosecco.
And of course my Italian husband can never resist ordering bread. The bread was delicious – grilled sourdough with a fennel butter.
We decided on six small plates to try to get a flavour of what’s on offer at VOC. To be honest, the ‘small plates’ are actually quite big so bear that in mind if you’re planning on a main too.
The small plates are divided into From the sea, From the land and From the field, the latter of which is all vegetarian. We opted mainly for the meat or ‘from the land’ dishes.
The five day air-dried crispy duck with spinach, Hoisin sauce and chilli Kali was absolutely delicious and the duck was very crispy. This was one of my favourites.
The chargrilled BBQ Indonesian chicken fillets with sesame seeds were also very tasty. I love BBQ and Indonesian food so this was a winner.
The Braised Oxtail Ravioli with dehydrated Bonito, spring onions and a soy & ginger broth was my least favourite dish. I just didn’t find it very flavoursome and, as my husband is Italian I thought he wouldn’t like it at all but actually he didn’t mind it. So, it divided us!
My second favourite dish was the Fifth Taste marinated umami Chicken, which was unami flavoured crispy skin chicken with wild mushroom. My only criticism was that the skin wasn’t actually crispy however it was so delicious! The mushrooms too were so yummy, I could’ve had a plate of those on their own.
The herb crusted Scottish Blackface lamb cutlets were perfectly pink and succulent. I can see why they are Bini’s favourite and why she recommends them!
Our last small dish was ‘from the field’ and an aubergine and courgette salad with feta, basil and lemon. It was lovely and light but at this point, we were so full it was hard to make a dent!
Can you believe after all this we still had a main?! We both couldn’t resist trying the rib eye steak from their Signature Classics. All of VOC’s meat comes from Henson’s of King’s Cross, which is a local 100-year old butchers. The meat is dry-aged for a minimum of 28 days, which gives it an incredible depth of flavour. All the meat is hand cut on-site, so every steak is exactly how it should be.
VOC prides itself on cooking your steak exactly as you like it. Now, I have to admit I was sceptical. So many times I’ve ordered steak to be cooked ‘medium’ and ended up with medium to well done, so now I always order medium to rare in the hope it will at least be medium! So that’s how we ordered it – medium to rare and that’s exactly what we got! I ordered the mushroom sauce and my husband had peppercorn and one portion of chips to share.
The chips were delicious – just as we like them and the sauces were great too. I feel terrible though as I was so full from all the starters that I really did not do my steak justice at all. I’ll just need to go back and rectify that. And of course there was zero space for a dessert. You know that ‘extra stomach’ you usually have for dessert? Not this time… that extra stomach was full too.
We had a great time at VOC. The service was impeccable, the food delicious and the ambience was spot on. I highly recommend booking a table here.
Our meal was complimentary in exchange for an honest review.