The Lighterman (named after the men who used to work on the Victorian canal barges called lighters) is located in a stunning minimalist newly-built three-storey building right next to Regency Canal, 5 minutes’ walk from Kings Cross station in a recently revamped area, where no cost seems to have been spared in the effort.
We immediately fell in love with the atmosphere and asked to be seated on the street terrace next to pedestrianised Granary Square, where plenty of little children were running around between the water columns of the enormous fountain, clearly having the time of their lives. Service was very quick, professional, and friendly throughout.
We ordered Eggs Benedict (£9.50) with an added pair of sausages and bacon (an extra £5 in total), and their signature poached eggs on crushed avocado toast (£9.50). For drinks, we ordered one flat white, one latte (£3 each), one beetroot, orange, and pear juice (£4), and one Bajan Plantation (Foursquare Spiced Rum, Crème d’Abricot, lemon & pineapple for a very reasonable £9).
It took no more than ten minutes, and all the delights were sitting on our table in front of us, nicely presented.
The coffee was decent, but not special, which is a very good thing, considering we’re talking London, not Sydney or Vienna here. The juice was extraordinarily flavoursome, and the cocktail was absolutely marvellous.
We liked our breakfast dishes, too. The crushed avocado and the sauce Hollandaise were very pleasant, no complaints there, and the good people here obviously know how to poach an egg or, in this case, four just the right way, job well done. However, the toasted rye bread was nothing special, the bacon wasn’t crispy, but a bit chewy, looked like it had been sitting in a pan for some time, and way too oily. The ham was soso and just two thin slices, and the sausages did not quite hit the spot.
Overall we’d give this place 4.5 out of 5 for atmosphere and service, and 3.75 out of 5 for the food.