Caravan is a restaurant, bar and coffee roaster located in Exmouth Market, Islington (and now they also have a branch in Kings Cross). I have been to Caravan once before for brunch and this is one of the best brunch places in London as their food is very creative, the restaurant is always full, creating a great atmosphere and they do great coffees. This time I came here for dinner with my friends and was surprised to see that their dinner food was equally good.
Caravan sits 48 people in their ground floor dining room and they also have a private room downstairs by the kitchens, seating 12 people. The food is very good, it draws influence from all over the world and there are items there you would not expect to see on a menu, and it works together surprisingly well. The menu is divided into “oysters”, “bread, cheese, meats”, “small plates”, “large plates” and “sides” and you are encouraged to share the dishes among yourselves.
We decided to choose a few dishes from different sections and then share. We chose one dish from the “bread, cheese, meats” section “the merguez sausage, maple roasted pork, crispy hens egg, piquillo salsa, pesto courgettes, sobrasada, manchego and walnut bread” for £12 and this was actually my least favourite dish out of all of the ones we had. It was a bit messy, did not look that appealing, and I can’t say that all the ingredients there were the best. But all the dishes that we ordered subsequently were very good, first we ordered dumplings, similar to what Central Asian country dumplings taste like, very good, from the small plates section. We also ordered “asparagus, roast garlic, aioli, parmesan crisp” for £6.50, a very good asparagus dish, as well as the “red and golden beets, candy beets, berkswell” also for £6.50 and the beets were soft, well prepared and beautifully colourful. Another good dish.
We also had a very good lamb with cucumbers and a hint of chilli dish which a lot of us thought was one of the best dishes there, the lamb was crispy and delicious. Also the “charred seabass, orange glazed chicory, saffron rise, pepper sauce” for 17.00 was a good dish, fish well cooked. The menu in general was very creative with many different dishes you wanted to eat. We also ordered a desert, “salted peanut brownie, milk sorbet and peanut brittle” and another desert of affogato. Both were enjoyable.
Apart from the bread and cheese and meat plate, I thought the dishes were very good at Caravan. I like different country influences in dishes, especially made well in the same place.
Date: 10/ 07/ 14
Price for 4 people with some alcohol: can’t remember