What Insiders Are Saying
The Lighterman is a British restaurant in Kings Cross that’s good for sitting on the canal with a drink and a snack.
The views are nice, the food and drinks are good. Service was a little slow, but overall was a good experience. If the weather is nice, it’s a perfect place for a sunset dinner.
Upstairs is a lovely airy room and we had a table by the window. Initially the service was good, with attentive waiting staff. But as the restaurant got busier we were left waiting for far too long (to be given dessert menus, to take orders for dessert, to get coffee and to receive bill.) I had to wave madly to get attention.
The wine is rather pricy but tap water is plentiful and offered without rancour. The food is usually better than on this occasion. My Superfood salad was unimaginative with some very tired looking cauliflower. If there was a dressing, it was meanly apportioned. I have had this before and it has been far better. Having said that, the fries and fish pie were excellent.
No mention was made when I booked that no cash was used and that all payment had to be by card. I think this should be mentioned when booking. Card payments were speedily taken but we had to ask for receipts, which the waiter did not know how to do. He had to ask a colleague. Surely receipts should be given as a matter of course?
Despite this critical review I would recommend The Lighterman as I have had many meals there which have been better, with more attentive waiting staff.
Great location but the food was way below average. We ordered a salad and a flatbread. It’s just seemed like someone in the kitchen was having a terrible day. I have never seen such poor and unappetising presentation of a salad. The lack of presentation did indeed translate to a tasteless dish! Didn’t get beyond 2 bites!
Would have been a top place if the food was good. Too pricey for what it is. Won’t return unfortunately.
PS: the 2 stars are purely for location
our drinks arrived after our starters so not too pleased about that however they were very good. highly recommend the outdoor terrace especially if the weather isn't too cold or too hot. romantic date night really sweet spot by the river yeah great for special occasions... date night Sunday roast in my case
Breakfast was a disappointment, a bit bland.
Food was very salty.
Would have been better if restaurant and bar were separated. Lots of people very loud and drunk next to us so we struggled to hear each other.
Dined here with a friend, early evening during the week. Food and drinks menu is varied and the restaurant is clean and appeared well staffed.
We had starter & main plus 1 bottle of wine. Unfortunately my main was a disappointment (fish & mussel pie) as there were no mussels. When I queried with the waiter I was told the mussels were chopped up and added to the sauce. Found this difficult to believe as there was not a single fleck of colour in the white roux sauce. Disappointment was compounded when I found a large fish bone in the filling.
Fortunately the Manager was excellent and struck this dish off of our bill, so I couldn't fault the service.
Nice atmosphere - gorgeous views on a nice day. Food is overpriced for what it is.
The food is amazing, the view as well. It took a little while to get anyone to take our order but once we did we enjoyed the food greatly. Definitely ask for a table upstairs because downstairs is ULTRA loud!!!!
Great place for Sunday lunch, good portions and nice view of the canal too.
We’re told we only had five minutes to order breakfast to then wait 45 minutes for the food to arrive.
Having ordered avocado and mushrooms with toast no butter (vegan) it arrived with poached eggs, we were shown the menu that avocado on toast comes with eggs. The eggs were then simply removed from the top and the dish reserved - not the place to go with vegan friends in tow.
Nice food, fantastic view, good service - I would definitely recommend this! The goat's cheese croquettes are delicious!
Great location. Good ambience. Quality of food could be improved.
This restaurant was great when it opened a couple years ago but has just steadily gone downhill. The food is awful, the chef simply cannot cook, their choice of meat and veg is very poor quality. I strongly suggest it finds better suppliers, and a new chef. They have no idea how to make the awful food even look a tiny bit appetising but maybe the chef had never worked in a restaurant kitchen before this one. I can cook better food at home. And prices are extortionate for this appalling quality.
The menu is somewhat limited but that aside, the customer care was of a high standard and the food was very good.
I had the fish pie which had an unusual (for me) filo top. Very tasty and full of fish with fresh greens on the side - cooked al dente.
Wonderful location, but our booking did not assure us of a table in the quieter of the three dining rooms. We were on the main floor. It was comfortable, but too “buzzy” for a good conversation.
The squid was good. The burger was generous and well-cooked. The fish and chips was also very good with (nice touch) fresh peas that had been “mushed” in the kitchen. Wines by the glass are OK, but pedestrian. At these prices that could be better chosen.
Lively atmosphere, noisy but not overpowering, decent enough range of quality beers (wine list looked ok too), good spread of starters and mains at a range of prices, service prompt without being intrusive. Overall very enjoyable.
Guaranteed great food and great service!!! Will be back to have more fab meals
Incredibly disappointing salad - many are so interesting these days that it's very prominent when one is served which is largely lettuce! Otherwise a nice evening and our group seemed to enjoy their food but it was very disappointing to get what I did. Not at all good for veggies
Lovely place to go for lunch or dinner, very buzzy and cheerful.
The roast chicken was dry, the roast beef was gristly and we were over-charged. The environment, service and drinks were good but the food was so poor, I wouldn’t return.
Stunning view over the Regents Canal. Food and service were both very good - the veggie starter platter was delicious, and more original than the usual ones. As always, the noise level was too loud, but not as bad as most places on a Saturday evening. Will definitely come back.
Lovely location , friendly staff, quality food , we had fish and chips and burgers.
excellent , service was exceptional and food was very high standard. everyone enjoyed their evening
No time for this - the stars say it all! You can't ask your customers to write a specific length without an incentive!
We ate on the top floor, and luckily there was a table outside. Otherwise we would have left: the noise level inside meant it was impossible to have a conversation. Loud rock music (though not as loud as the other two floors). Food was very good and service excellent, but if you want to be able to talk to your friends go elsewhere. BUT noise is becoming a problem almost everywhere...
The restaurant is nice and the food is very good. I like the place, how is decorated and the vibe that transmits.
On arrival very busy and bustling so a bit worried re noise but we were in restaurant upstairs which was fine. Food a very pleasant surprise, tasty well cooked and of good quality. Good wine list with variety of prices. Will be going back
The food was delicious. Service was discreet but impeccable. I will return.
Good food and good service but limited menu and noisy at 7pm.
Really great restaurant overlooking the canal and Granary Square. The first floor dinning area is equally as nice as the ground floor. Great place, particularly in the spring/summer. Excellent food.
Really great, great ambiance great food and amazing service.
Fab food & great location over the canal.
Food and drinks were fine but service was dreadful - we were ignored several times by different members of staff and treated like a nuisance in general!
Really busy evening because of the good weather so ended up waiting over 15 minutes for our drinks. Same again for our starters. Asked to swap the peas that came with the fish and chips for the beetroot and carrot slaw and was told because it was only a small ramekin of peas, I'd have to pay extra for the slaw. The fish and chips turned up with the same amount of peas as we got of the slaw, so not sure why I had to pay extra. I'd also swapped the peas on a previous visit for broccoli for no extra charge. Really noisy, service was okay but clearly stretched. Overall bill for two courses and 3 drinks was nearly £100 so not great value for money, particularly as the portions are fairly small; not sure I'll go back again.
Pleasantly surprised. Went to see our son in a final production at Central Saint Martins, Drama Centre, and decided to eat there afterwards. The food was great (didn’t mind me ordering a starter as a mains). The outlook was great (we were seated upstairs) and the staff were friendly and attentive. It’s difficult to keep a diverse group of 7 happy and the Lighterman managed this with ease! 😊
Service was excellent, very engaging. Food was good though a little pricy for a sunday lunch.
I booked a table for 12 for brunch yesterday.We arrived early and we were told to sit in the bar downstairs until the top floor restaurant was open. We left the down stairs bar to get our table upstairs at 11.55 , only to be told that the upstairs was not ready yet. We had to stand near the ground floor stairwell for 15minutes. I had to ask the lady at reception could we be seated in one of the empty tables on the ground floor rather than carry on standing. I was quite annoyed because there was an over abundance of staff chatting and we were being ignored. We finally were brought upstairs to be seated, the food was fine but when we got to ordering coffee and desert, we were told on three separate occasions that we needed to hurry up. This was from 1.45-2pm. Considering the delay in getting our table, I thought it was rude and inconsiderate to rush us, I couldn’t even finish my coffee. I would avoid and I won’t be booking this restaurant again. Disappointing customer service.
Had a wonderful meal. The staff were friendly and extremely helpful. A big shout out to Farida who sang me Happy Birthday like a pro and looked after us so well