Caravan has a reputation for putting on a good brunch spread. Although they don’t take reservations at weekends, if you’re not battling a hangover it’s easy to get there just before opening at 10am. We did exactly that on a rainy Sunday morning, joining a small gaggle of equally clever diners outside the restaurant.
Hidden in Granary Square behind King’s Cross St. Pancras station, if you haven’t visited the area before be sure to follow Caravan’s walking instructions available on their website. Despite the rain, Granary Square is a lovely space with over 1000 choreographed fountains and a set of canalside steps, carpeted in green, where events and installations are often staged.
We were seated on the end of a long table, as soon as “the Caravan doors” opened. I was surprised to read that Caravan have struggled to deliver great service since opening, but for us (a party of 5) I felt the whole experience was streamlined, especially considering the room is full by half 10 including hungry diners already waiting for a table. There were plenty of staff around, each appeared to be manning a certain area but we had no trouble catching their attention whenever we needed a top up of milk, or coffee and tea refills.
The brunch menu (served between 10am – 4pm, at weekends) consists of daily-changing baked goods, fruit & cereal, toasts and a selection of innovative brunch dishes featuring ingredients such as coconut bread, pumpkin waffles, kimchi pancakes and jalapeno corn bread. There were definitely some items listed that I’d never heard of before, but those dishes will have to wait for another time as today I was hungry! …and Emma + Hunger = A Fry Up.
Served on a slice of toasted sourdough or grain from St John Bakery, the Caravan fry comes with eggs, field mushrooms, tomatoes and bacon. I subtracted the mushroom and chose to have my eggs poached which made for a manageable portion size. The bacon was streaky and oh-so-crispy, but the best part of the dish was the heavenly slow roasted tomatoes. They were incredible rich in flavour and all of us were raving about how good they were.
A sausage on the side was optional, at £4 for wild boar or £3.50 for a merguez (a type of North African lamb sausage). High prices aside the merguez sausage had a seriously spicy and earthy flavour, which was a delightful accompaniment.
I suffered from major food envy when I tried the Pumpkin waffle with baked ricotta, maple and pecans. Made with puréed roast pumpkin and served with a nutty maple-syrup butter, it was brunch but not as we know it.
To distract me from the delights of the pumpkin waffle, I enjoyed a taster of poached dried fruit with zesty orange blossom & honey mascarpone and almonds. It was dark and rich, filled with apricots, figs, prunes, dates and every other sweet dried fruit going. The mascarpone helped balance out the dish but we could have done with a bit more of it as each spoonful needed a bit of each to make it more enjoyable.
Caravan does put on a mean brunch spread and I would love to go again and choose something a little more adventurous from the menu. Would I wait an hour for a table? Don’t be silly.
ADDRESS: 1, Granary Building, Granary Square, London N1C 4AA
CONTACT: 020 7101 7661
OPENING HOURS: 8am – 11.30am and 12pm – 10.30pm Monday to Friday and 10am – 4pm and 5pm – 10.30pm Saturdays and 10am – 4pm on Sundays