VOC Bar & Grill Review

When it comes to dining out in London there are far too many places that you are often spoilt for choice and settle with what you know best. Sometimes the smaller, quirkier little bars get over shadowed by convenience and larger brands - especially when you're only staying for a short period of time. When my husband and I go travelling we always make it a priority to find somewhere interesting and slightly different to eat. 

Whilst in London last week, James and I visited the VOC Bar & Grill as we waited for our train home. Conveniently, the VOC bar is situated only five minutes way from the hustle and bustle of Kings Cross Station and is the perfect little place for hungry commuters to visit if they are looking for a trendy small bar with friendly, down to earth staff.

The VOC Bar and Grill takes its name from a seventeenth century maritime organisation the Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, better known as the Dutch East India Company which in 1602 set up a lucrative monopoly of Asian spice trade. The bar follows it's maritime theme throughout the interior decor with blinds painted with pirate maps and antique looking furnishings.  The pirate theme also continues through to the VOC Bar award winning drinks based on and adapted from old seventh century punch recipes using seasonal produce and the 'latest molecular mixology techniques'.  

Intrigued by the history and techniques described in the menu, James and I couldn't wait to sample the cocktails. James opted for a 'Pirate's Curse' cocktail which is described on the menu as 'not for the faint-hearted!' According to the website:"The cocktail is a blood-rest twist on the infamous Reggae-Rum Punch" and comes with a flaming shot of 59% proof white rum. The Pirates Curse really packs a punch and is one of the strongest drinks on the VOC Bar menu. If you can get past the strong fiery taste and if you have a stomach for stronger alcoholic beverages, this does make for a really pleasant drink. I opted for the Raspberry Shrub which is described as 'Pampero Especial bottled with fresh lemon juice, honey and fresh raspberries and matured for at least one week.' The Raspberry Shrub cocktail has a flamboyant concoction of Chambord, Red Wine, Rum, Cinnamon and many other alcoholic treats which is matured for a week to give it a mulled wine, essence of winter appeal. The Raspberry Shrub is one of the nicest cocktails I've had in my life and in keeping with the pirate theme, comes in a beautiful bottle with the infamous black mark.

After making our way through a handful of cocktails, James and I were lead upstairs to the restaurant to sample the VOC culinary delights. The restaurant is rather spacious and classic looking compared to the bar, but is beautifully lit and has rather nice decor. James and I pretty much had the entire restaurant to ourselves as the bar manager told us that Friday is one of their quiet nights when it comes to food, as most people prefer to drink instead. The peak restaurant times are in fact Monday to Friday often catering for hungry commuters.

The VOC food menu consists of typical bar style grub, but with more refined servings and lashings of flavour. For starters I had the Grilled Halloumi with Olives and Creamy Hummus served with a freshly toasted pitta bread.  Greek style food is definitely my favourite and I was pleasantly surprised to see a Greek theme running through the menu. The Halloumi was baked to perfection - chewy and mouthwatering without being overcooked, the pitta bread was soft and lightly toasted and the olives and hummus complimented the main elements perfectly. James chose the chicken wings with hot sauce for starter which he told me were succulent and hot, but tasty - not too over spiced. He told me that the restaurant had 'got the spices balanced correctly' and the blue cheese sauce on the side helped refresh the palate between servings.

When it came to the main dishes, I was also pleasantly surprised to see a variety of vegetarian dishes from falafel and bean burgers to a mix of juicy salads. As a vegetarian, finding a restaurant that strays away from the same old 'Veggie Lasagna and Veggie burgers' can be quite a laborious task and I was so happy to see several different options that are not on a stereotypical vegetarian menu. I went for the Aubergine & Courgette salad which consisted of Chargrilled ribbons and Feta cheese with a sweet basil, lemon and extra virgin oil dressing and as I had a four hour journey ahead of me, I also had a side portion of triple cooked chips. The chargrilled aubergine and courgette were delightfully mouth-watering and tasty and the feta cheese added texture and a subtle creamy flavour, which combined with all the other ingredients brought the dish to life. This dish was far more filling than I expected.

James opted for the Chargrilled Chicken burger with an organic chicken fillet in a brioche bun and a side of chips and salsa. The chicken was juicy and tender - perfectly cooked with plenty of seasoning and the salsa was a nice finishing touch with brought the dish together. The chips were crunchy, yet had a melt in the mouth creamy potato centre - they were a real treat and probably the best chips I had tasted (although I don't want to think of the calories).

When it came to dessert, James and I felt far too full and unfortunately I had to decline my favourite New York cheesecake and admit defeat. The VOC Bar & Grill gave us a spectacular evening with food that is reasonably priced and drinks to die for. The VOC Bar & Grill is a hidden gem within the heart of London and I would challenge everyone to go and try some cocktails for yourself, you won't be disappointed.

Have you been to the VOC bar before?

*This meal was paid for by VOC bar in exchange for a review. All opinions are of mine and my husbands.



  1. This looks amazing! I'm in London quite often so I'll definitely keep an eye out for this place xx

    Jasmine // Magpie Jasmine

  2. The food looks divine! Don't go to London often, so hoping they branch out to other parts of the country.

    Laura x x x

  3. Looks like a fab place to eat! I'd love to be spoiled for choice for places to eat out - where I live the nearest place to go is a half hour's drive away!

  4. I've worked in King's Cross for 5 years and for my shame never tried this place. I had to look at the map to gauge where it is! One I'll deffo be checking out, if I'm right it's opposite one of my fave Tapas bars (and still I didn't recognise the place). Stephen :o)

  5. Great review and gorgeous photos. I'm not based in the UK but I do love checking out unique little places...I'm a big fan of sweet cocktails so the Raspberry Shrub sounds like something I would order! Also loved the look of the food you ordered. :)

  6. Everything looks very nice! Now I feel like having burger too! xo's

    Pink Frenzy

  7. The food does look mouther-wateringly amazing x

  8. I've never been here but it looks brilliant and I would love to try it at some point!


  9. Oh my...this post made me hungry



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