257-259 Pentonville Road,
0871 971 4515
Note: Calls cost 10p per min plus network extras.
The ViewLondon Review
Historically known as the provider of hearty breakfasts and a relatively peaceful chill-out space for the hordes emerging bleary-eyed from all-nighters in various King’s Cross clubs, the Big Chill House is perennially in demand as a restaurant, bar and on-point music space, too.
Big Chill House is an L-shaped room with tables in the bar area and, around the corner, a dance floor area. It’s relatively dark and nightclub-like, and although you could never call the music banging, it is certainly turned up relatively loud. They also have a roof terrace, which is the scene of BBQ’s if the weather permits.
Their latest refurbishment, as well as adding a dash of bright colours and making the most of their bare wooden floorboards, sees the bar increasing its dining capacity with lots of smaller, black tables for those grabbing a quick bite, although the far end of the bar is still reserved for those who prefer to take a little longer and stretch out on something more comfortable.
It predominantly attracts those in the 20-40 age range, with some evidently heading off to clubs later on, while others appear content to have a decent feed and a few drinks in an environment that is lively rather than completely full on.
The vibe is noticeably convivial and friendly, especially given its location in the heart of the hectic King’s Cross area. The sound of noisy chat fills the bar-end of the venue, and while relaxing rather than going wild is the order of the day, you could certainly take to the floor for a dance without feeling too self-conscious.
Naturally, the music and booking policy is on point. Expect lashings of reggae, hip-hop and house with dubstep and drum and bass unleashed on certain occasions. Greenmoney and Grooverider have played recently and the terrace is always brought into action for barbecue and beats events during the summer.
Very affordable for central London, with a good choice for different needs/budgets. At breakfast time you can eat for as little as £1.25 for a French pastry, with toast (two thick slices) at £1.50, muffins at £1.80 or cereals at £2.50. If you’re up for something hot, the full English breakfast (vegetarian equivalent also available) comes in at £7.50, and along with the breakfast muffin with egg and bacon (£4.50) and homemade rosti (£4.75) all come with an unending supply of free filter coffee.
The main menu is equally comprehensive and excellent value. The house speciality is burgers, and there’s a choices (all at £6.75) and a massive array of extra sauces and toppings to customise them to your taste. Portions are sizeable, the ingredients fresh, and the side dishes, although sometimes not as hot as they could be, are far from the usual - everything from crispy courgette fries (£1.75) to baby squid with garlic mayonnaise (£4.75). Likewise, the lunch specials include pan-fried red snapper fillet with spinach and caper salsa (£8.50), roast chicken breast with new potatoes (£8.75), penne with grilled artichokes (£7.95) and pearl barley salad with edamame (£6.50).
Again, a huge choice on offer. Beers on draught include Budvar (£4.10), Heineken (£3.90) and Murphys (£3.70), and bottles include Innis & Gunn ale (£3.60) and Sierra Nevada pale ale (£4). Ciders include Symonds (£3.60 per pint), bottled Aspall (£3.90) and Westons Perry (£4.40). Wines range from house white or red at (£3.85 per glass/£14.50 per bottle) to Spanish Rioja (£5.35 per glass/£20 per bottle). There‘s also a range of champagnes including Laurent Perrier Brut (£7.75/£45), Laurent Perrier and Laurent Perrier Rose (£72). There’s also a choice of more than ten cocktails including the Big Chill Punch with vodka, white peach puree, lemon juice and prosecco (£8.25), and around 30 spirits from Smirnoff Black (£3.50) to Courvoisier XO (£9.50).
The Last Word
With an interesting menu, quality music events, surprisingly reasonable prices and a unique atmosphere, the Big Chill House remain a firm favourite with regulars and newcomers alike.
The Big Chill House has been reviewed by 34 users