Sunday, 27 June 2010

Uruguay V South Korea: The Ultimate World Cup Pub (bar & restaurant) Crawl

By Cat McGovern

On a Saturday I don’t normally surface before noon, but as I am meeting the boyfriend’s mother for brunch I can make the exception. The venue is Camino, in Kings Cross’s trendy Regent’s Quarter and I’m starving. I’m doing things a bit differently today. I am going to have a relaxing, long lunch before watching the game at 3pm as I want to take my time and luxuriate in my meal wholly.

We make our way to the breakfast/brunch area and take our seats. Camino is Spanish themed so the menu follows suit. I am instantly attracted to the Desayuno Completo (£7), which is a full Spanish to you and me, so the boyfriend and I order that, whereas the mother goes for the healthier Revuelto de esparragos (£6), or scrambled egg with asparagus. The large plate is presented to me and I dig in. I pierce the yolk of the perfectly cooked fried eggs and spread it on the most wonderfully crunchy rustic bread. Next I tackle the small chorizo sausages, which are dripping with juices, and savour every bite. The pan-fried potatoes with crispy onions and tender green peppers go beautifully with the sausage and the salty bacon. The addition of the fresh side salad balances the meal well, and it feels like I’m having a semi healthy brunch. To go with a meal, I highly recommend having a bottle of the Vichy Catalan, which is sparkling water that is so enriched with minerals that it tastes slightly salty, making for a uniquely refreshing experience.

I finish my full Spanish and am still wanting some more. Looking at the menu, I am delighted to see that there are Churros (£1.75), which are Spanish style donuts, and order them. Three rings of crisp donut served with a small pot of thick hot chocolate are in front to me and before I know it, the boyfriend has nabbed one. The donut is savoury and the indulgent chocolate sauce makes it all worthwhile.

Contented, we say goodbye to the mum and check out Camino. Outside is an area where there are two 60 inch plasmas with a lot of tables, so that you can watch the game in the sunshine, which is an awesome idea. In the main bar area, near to the table football, is a screen which is where we plonk ourselves waiting for the match to start. Also around the side where the bathrooms are, is another screen. There are sofas and comfy seats here so it’s a more chilled out place to watch the game. International flags hang above the bar and I notice a sign that says ‘4 ice cold cans (of Heineken) for £10’, which is a great deal when you’re popping in and out from the TV area outside. Caminois large and can accommodate a fair few people but as it’s 3pm on a Saturday, it’s not that full.

I take my eye off the game for a few minutes and Uruguay score, Suarez to be precise. It’s only been 8 minutes so I better pay attention to the screen, in case I miss anything else. The boyfriend comments that South Korea are going to be annihilated by Uruguay and that this game is scrappy. I nod as if I know what he is talking about, and have a slug of my Gewurztraminer at £6.25 a small glass. Smelling strongly of lychee, it’s a suitable afternoon tipple.

Half time comes around swiftly and to be honest, not much occurred. I decide to have a sherry, as Camino prides itself on its sherry selection. I ask for something dry and I get the Tiopepe for £3.50 a glass. It hits the spot and I slowly sip on it waiting for the next half to commence.

When South Korea score in the 68th minute it is not a surprise; it has been one-way traffic since half time. Uruguay appear lacklustre and generally out of ideas. South Korea, by comparison, are finally showing some invention. The goal is result of several Uruguayan players losing their markers from a free kick and the Koreans are queuing up to score, with Lee Cheung Yong the man to head past the stranded ‘keeper. We soon leave as we need to get to a birthday party, but later discover that the final score was 2-1 to Uruguay. Looks like they found something after all – in fact, an excellent goal by David Suarez again.

Camino is a super place to get drunk and watch a bunch of football as you have the choice of the raucous outside screens or the chilled indoors ones. It does well to cater for the World Cup and I can only imagine the vibe for more popular games is electric.

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