Caravan seems to be everything: a coffee mecca, an Antipodean brunch haven and a dinner spot. Located on the corner of vibrant foodie street Exmouth Market, Caravan is ideal for a summer supper, with its bright and airy space and outside terrace. It fits in well with the Guardian-reading Clerkenwell set, with a welcoming aroma of freshly roasted coffee, fresh orange juice, a fusiony menu and a buzzy atmosphere.
Their all day menu is wonderfully fusion-esque with plenty of vege options:
- Nepalese vegetable momo, spice tomato sauce (£5);
- Chopped “baby” kale salad, feta, squash, pumpkin seeds (£7.50); and
- Chilli crusted tofu, green beans ginger soy (£8)/
Their Head Chef, Miles Kirby, moved from the Providores & Tapa Room. This explains why the food takes you on a culinary journey from Chinea to Japane, through the Middle East and, of course, Australia. My friend and I shared all three vege dishes and the kale was the highlight for me. It was a perfect match with the feta and the squash. The dish was deliciously seasoned and topped off with creamy feta.
We ordered the tofu as we were told it is their stand-out vegetarian dish. Although I did enjoy it, especially the beans and crispy shallots that came with, the chunk of tofu was probably too heavy.
The fried vegetable dumplings, meanwhile, could have done with a touch more seasoning and I think Ping Pong’s steamed varieties are certainly healthier and tastier.
Nevertheless, Caravan food is delivered with a relaxed vibe that’s entirely in keeping with the Exmouth Market ethos and can only add to the appeal of a night out in the pedestrianised area lit by twinkling fairy lights overhead. It’s definitely worth trying a coffee here, with beans roasted in their basement; my friend certainly enjoyed her after-dinner espresso.
Go in for a morning coffee, a later cocktail, small plates in the evening or anything in between. It’s a something-for-everyone eaterie, conceived on easy-going, Australian lines.
Caravan, 11-13 Exmouth Market, London EC1R 4QD