From local Chinese eateries to housing estate chippies: meet the food writer 

Key takeaways: 

  • Jonathan Nunn avoids the upmarket diners dearest by pundits. 
  • All things being equal, in his most recent book, he alters an assortment of expositions about London’s ignored spots.

‘Always get anxious when individuals request that I pick a café because I know where it counts. It’s a test,” says the food essayist and supervisor Jonathan Nunn. We’re meeting for lunch to examine London Feeds Itself, an assortment of papers investigating the spaces where Londoners eat, and I have asked Nunn, the assortment’s manager, to recommend where.

He’s right: it is a test. I need to check whether the 33-year-old’s standing as a boss of good-esteem restaurants is a counterpart for King’s Cross, the area of focal London where the Guardian has its workplaces, and the typical house cost is £850,000. Simply seven days sooner, I divided all expenses on a £15 sandwich here, trusting it would be a) the best sandwich ever or b) gigantic. Peruse, it was not one or the other.

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I also need to track down a decent, reasonable eating spot close to work.

“Individuals think I have a Sherlock Holmes-style mental guide of every eatery in London,” Nunn muses. “Which I do, somewhat.”

That is why it takes him only a couple of moments to email me a scope of choices – none of which, I’m humiliated to say, I have known about. In the long run, we choose Xin Kai, a newish dongbei (north-eastern Chinese) café on Caledonian Road, around a 10-minute stroll from King’s Cross station. Nunn doesn’t seem to be the cliché food pundit when he shows up – no vivid shirt or explanation glasses. 

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