Having had a great experience at Caravan Exmouth Market I thought I would try their King’s Cross outpost, which is in the refurbished Granary Square buildings near the station. Caravan is an Aussie run cafe/restaurant which serves up well-treated house-roasted coffee and has a brunch menu with lots of antipodean favourites like baked eggs.
Things didn’t start well – they don’t take bookings for weekend brunch and we had to wait about 45 minutes for a table, the front of house staff were a bit harassed and seemed very keen to turn people away with threat of an hour wait for a table. We were told that we couldn’t wait inside and have a coffee until our table was ready (in spite of the expanse of empty space in the back behind the servery), instead we were recommended to go to the bar next door for a drink until our table was ready. Unfortunately, their neighbour is an unfriendly and pricey French place – if you need to wait for a table I would recommend having a wander round Central St. Martin’s Art College instead.
I opted for a flat white (£2.6) which was pretty decent with dark chocolate notes and a slightly citrus finish (although it was served a bit cold). For me, it was not as good as the equivalent at the Exmouth Market branch – the baristas seemed to be over loaded (I guess they have over 100 covers) and were working in a bit of a mess. My girlfriend had a long black and unfortunately the Caravan house blend does not taste good without milk – it is overly bitter and doesn’t have enough depth in its aftertaste to stand up on its own.
As in the Exmouth branch, the king of the brunch menu is the baked eggs with chorizo, yoghurt and a tomato ragu (£9.5) – the eggs had been perfectly poached with a wonderfully runny yolk and generous helpings of paprika loaded chorizo. It came with beautifully crunchy sourdough which is great for mopping up the egg, yoghurt and chorizo oil.
I also sampled the soutsouki (garlicky beef) sausage with aubergine puree, poached eggs and yoghurt (£9) – there were generous dollops of puree which was made from very ripe aubergines without a hint of bitterness. The sausages were very rich and lean, the perfect complement to the slightly sweet melt in the mouth aubergine and the eggs were up to their usual standard.
Verdict: great brunch food, but be prepared to wait for a table at weekends and don’t drink their coffee black.