21 Mar 2011
It took me a while, and it took a friend’s birthday brunch to get me there (Eatatarian’s in fact), but I finally managed to visit Exmouth Market based eatery Caravan the other weekend. Miles Kirby (former chef of Providores and fellow Kiwi) is the head chef, so my expectations were pretty high.
I arrived at the very busy weekend brunch hour of 1pm, and the casual, antipodean style restaurant was packed out with queues all along the bar. I bypassed the throng with a huge sense of relief, and went looking for something which might resemble a private dining room that my friend had booked in advanced. Instead I was vaguely surprised to find my friends seated downstairs at a large lone table in the Roastery Room amongst the fragrant beans and shiny, coffee preparation equipment.
It felt a little unusual being seated there and made for an interesting atmosphere with the only passersby being the waiting staff on their way to the kitchen, and restaurant patrons on their way to the bathroom! But nevertheless it was pleasant enough and the coffee was fantastic; my flat white definitely being one of the better ones I’ve enjoyed in a London cafe.
I shared the baked eggs for two and they came served with a tomato and pepper ragout and greek yoghurt with chorizo (£18). This was a very filling and satisfying dish, with the runny egg yolks, creamy yoghurt, flavoursome chorizo and ragout coming together, to produce some kind of awesome. As it was quite a gloopy dish and didn’t come with toast we had to order some for an extra £2.50 which seemed a bit steep.
Unfortunately I was still recovering from an unintentionally overzealous Friday night, so forgive me for not being entirely switched on. However, my friends dishes also looked quite good and they too seemed to enjoy their meals.
Although Brunch options were fairly typical, after some further research I found that the All Day Menu looked decidedly more exciting (e.g. blue cheese and peanut wontons). I rarely find myself in Exmouth Market but if I’m ever around in future, I’d definitely be keen to stop by to try another bite and if not that then at least some more of their wonderful coffee!
11-13 Exmouth Market