Sunday, 18 April 2010

Caravan, Exmouth Market

It was a lovely morning. After a well-earned lie in and a lovely poached egg (just look at the colour - I definitely recommend Clarence Court eggs for wonderful taste and colour!), I set off for a walk through Regent's Park to go and meet a couple of friends for a catch-up at Caravan in Exmouth Market.

I have been meaning to try Caravan for a while - it was set up by a couple of New Zealanders, one of which used to be the chef at Providores, my absolute favourite eatery in London.

Caravan describes itself as a restaurant, bar and roastery, although one of the main reasons I wanted to go there was to try their own-roasted coffee. With the standard of coffee in this town on the serious incline, I wanted to see how this place was doing things.

Caravan's location is perfect - set right on the edge of the trendy, although slightly grungy Exmouth Market, it is guaranteed a big crowd. The windows are large, allowing the sun to stream through, and the furniture is wooden and rustic looking - very cool.

The menu is perfect for someone like me who hates making decisions on large menus! The brunch menu (for weekends only) had a nice selection of friands, muffins, "healthier" bits (like poached dried fruit and porridge) and then some other interesting dishes like toasted sourdough with avocado, olive oil and chilli flakes (yum!), coconut bread, roasted tamarillo and lemon curd cream cheese and cornbread french toast with bacon, rocket and avocado.

I went for the cornbread. Despite the poor iPhone photo (and the brown-ish looking avocado), the dish was nice. The flavours blended well and reminded me of Providore's sweetcorn and blueberry fritters - which I love. The french toast aspect of the dish, I think, added unnecessary unhealthy element to the dish, but I probably would order it again.

My friends had the poached dried fruit and the baked eggs with tomato and pepper ragout and Greek yogurt, respectively, which they both said were quite good.

In terms of drinks, we each had a "freshly" squeezed orange juice which had been squeezed earlier that day (which I am not a fan of) and which was served with ice (which I am also not a fan of). Then came the flat whites.

The coffee was very dark and had a very thick consistency. D loves a more bitter coffee, but it wasn't to my liking. One of my friends, a New Zealander, also found it a bit heavy on the palette.

All in all, I found Caravan a good experience - it's a vibrant, cool place to meet up with friends and somewhere I would visit again if I was in the area.

Caravan Restaurant, Bar & Roastery
11-13 Exmouth Market
London EC1R 4QD

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