Here’s what King’s students really think about the newest KCLSU restaurant, The Shack

I spent 13 disappointing pounds to write this


When you open the doors of The Shack you are immediately hit with the smell of coffee and a sea of MacBooks. This new addition to the Strand Campus has proven itself to be a popular space already (its location is really doing it some favours.)

It’s got massive windows on the SE entrance, the first floor for the lazy people, and the perfect place to go when you’ve fallen asleep in your last lecture and need a good hit of coffee. The prices are also friendly: it’s £1.50 for a double shot of Espresso and in general lunch seems to be £3.00.

So, naturally, I was excited to try the food out, and initially – I was impressed. There’s a huge variety available: curry, salads, the humble panini, sushi, noodles pots, sandwiches, wraps – the options are endless. Moreover, the integration of Vegetarian/Vegan options was clearly considered here and that’s always a plus.

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I found myself disappointed when I got round to trying the food. I decided to go for a hummus and falafel baguette and a mocha. As someone who feels deep emotions about both hummus and falafel I was excited. This was (in theory) going to be a perfect lunch.

The result was a let-down, though. I mean if you have jaws of steel go ahead, I recommend the baguette, it’s delicious, just painful to eat.

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This experience foreshadowed what I was going to experience with much of the food I tried over the next few days. I was, and still am, genuinely sad to have spent £2.75 on the Mediterranean Cheese Melt. It only took one bite to realise that it was half-heartedly cooked, if I can even say it was cooked at all. It was a sad excuse for a lunch; I didn’t even want to attempt to eat the second half, I threw it away. RIP that particular £1.38. The same happened with a Pesto Pasta the next day, made bearable with the addition of cheese.

I found salvation, however, in the sushi. I can’t fault it and would actually go as far as to recommend it. However there is better sushi at Wasabi, also avoiding bumping into the people you disgraced yourself in front of during freshers’, and that’s priceless.

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In terms of the space itself, it does seem really confused in its purpose – is it a work space? Is it a café? Is a social space? Is it a Bloomberg office?

Why is there a ping pong table in the middle that is basically begging for people desperately cramming their reading in to get hit in the head? It is honestly so wickedly impractical, I don’t need some bro shouting next to me about his ping pong successes. It doesn’t really make any sense.

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Will my coffee hide the bags under my eyes or my disappointment

The Shack has a lot of potential – it’s the perfect place to grab a coffee with a friend, or eat your own packed lunch, but I don’t think I’ll be buying my meals there any time soon.

Rating: 5/10

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