Amongst the many, many average cafés and eateries down King’s Cross Road sits this very fine little spot, where some of the capital’s best produce and some of its best value lunches are waiting.
There really isn’t a lot to shout about in this part of town, bar a very good tailor, a couple of decent greasy spoons and a sex shop of sorts with a window display that always gets the girls a-giggling. Amongst the rough lies this little diamond, where a friendly little chap (Mr Nivens?) serves up some very decent food alongside artisanal produce from Brindisa, Flour Station, Luscombe and many more. A small service area houses the hot food and salads, and a tiny little dining room at the back of the venue has room for no more than ten and a toilet that’s somewhat strangely reserved for staff use only… which seems a little mean.
The very pleasant chap working behind the counter is all sweetness and light, so expect a chat with him whether you like it or not - some people are just friendly, it seems. Regular visitors keep up the banter in the queue; a queue that plays host to what look predominantly like trendy-ish local workers who appreciate a bit of fine fare and a chinwag (we’re not far from Islington).
Aside from some great meats from Brindisa, pasties de nata from Flour Station, coffee from Union and pressés from Simply Nectar, the homemade stuff is every bit as impressive as the bits and bobs with the fancy provenance. Breakfasts show an admirable emphasis on good produce, with some very good sausages and thick slabs of bacon between bread (£3) doing some pretty keen business for much of the morning.
A number of hot mains are prepared for lunch every day, and for £5.50 with three sides they offer very good value too. A lovely lasagne, a big and flavourful chicken and chorizo pie (with great shortcrust pastry), minted lamb, some perfectly light gnocchi, harissa chicken, pig’s cheek with barley, and beef braised in red wine are just some of the kinds of thing you can expect each day. Sides hardly play second fiddle either, with pearl barley, herbs and pomegranate seeds a beautiful combination bettered only by sweet potato roasted to sticky with thyme, oil and honey.
There’s no license but you can get your kicks from some great coffee (£1.90-£2.50), courtesy of Union, and plenty of cracking soft options including San Pellegrino (in limonata, la rossa and aranciata), those Simply Nectar pressés and plenty of drops from Luscombe down in Devon.
The Last Word
A very good breakfast and lunch spot that could no doubt charge a lot more were it somewhere salubrious. Definitely worth the walk from King's Cross station, and probably Angel too.