I hope you don't mind that my blog is increasingly becoming just about brunch, coffee and cake! ;) I have a few more brunch reviews in store for you this month!
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Sadly Charlotte couldn't join us this time, so we "replaced" her with my husband Sandy! ;)
We decided to meet on a Saturday at noon, which I thought was early enough to find a table without having to queue for too long… (wishful thinking)
When Sandy and I arrived at Caravan Kings Cross, Sam and Hannah were nowhere to be seen; a few tweets later, we realized they were waiting at Caravan Exmouth Market instead! Luckily it was only a short bus ride away and around 12:30 we finally met at the right location!
Sam and Hannah had been waiting for a table for 45 minutes (having arrived at Caravan at 11:40). We waited ten more minutes together, before finally sitting down.
Caravan coffee, made with 100% Arabica beans ethically sourced and roasted on site, is very good and in fact you will find it served in many restaurants in London.
For espresso-based drinks, they use a house blend that changes every season. Filter coffee is made with single origin beans: Monsoon Malabar (India), Finca La Fany (El Salvador) and Aceh Tenga (Sumatra).
We all ordered Flat Whites, with the exception of Hannah, who chose a tea.
I tried the brunch menu at Caravan Kings Cross last summer (you can see my review here) and food-wise the Exmouth Market brand didn't offer any surprises.
Cornbread French Toast, Bacon, Rocket and Avocado was my safe choice and it didn't disappoint: it was tasty and filling. Sandy ordered Fried Egg and Spicy Beans on Grain Toast.
Both arrived covered in rocket, which appears to be the hipster topping du jour. I challenge you to count how many dishes are served with rocket in this city, you will find it is ubiquitous! It reminded me of an article by Seb Emina (author of The Breakfast Bible) for The Clerkenwell Post, where he wrote: "my heart sinks when I see a straggling mess of rocket teetering over my fried eggs". A fan of classic breakfasts, Seb prefers them without salad, and I agree.
Sam chose Poached Eggs on Toast, with Peas and Hollandaise Sauce. Butter and Sourdough Toast on the side.
Hannah couldn't resist her sweet tooth and went for Pancakes with Crème Fraîche and Compote. I didn't taste it, but one observation I can make is that the portion seemed a bit small for the price: £7.50 for only two pancakes.
But then, it's hard to please me when it comes to pancakes, as for me it's impossible to beat the quality and portion size of Bea's Diner in Maltby Street!
While researching for this post, I read a few negative reviews about Caravan, complaining about the service for not being friendly, accurate and quick.
With the exception of the long wait, I don't have any complaints: while not overly friendly and warm, the service was fast and the orders arrived without mistakes.
I enjoyed the brunch, overall, and I would love to go back to either locations in Kings Cross and Exmouth Market (admittedly, the prospect of a long wait might send me somewhere else!).