So I took a bit of a break from work last week, and had a day in London to meet up with an old pal. We decided to try out the new branch of Caravan that has recently opened behind King's Cross station, in an area that is undergoing loads of re-development. Caravan is based in a row of old grain warehouses and maintains an air of industrial comfort. It was pretty busy when we arrived (without a booking), but a after a bit of intense computer activity from the friendly front of house person a table for two appeared.
I guess the food at Caravan is a sort of sophisticated cafe-style. It's all very informal, with a few ingredients, but put together well. We shared a couple of small plates and a pizza between us, which was perfect for lunch for two pretty hungry people. A salad of quinoa, feta cheese, butternut squash and broccoli, was something I could easily have put together at home but was fresh and tasty nevertheless.
Grilled kefalotyri cheese, (with pickled mushrooms, and skordalia), was not something I've eaten before. The cheese was quite rich, but with much more flavour than halloumi, and the mushrooms were an excellent addition to balance everything out.
Our pizza with white anchovies, olives and mascarpone was also pretty excellent, with a light and non-stodgy base.
Things took a bit of a slide when our puddings appeared though. As my friend pointed out a big brown smear is never a good look on a plate, even though her chocolate cheesecake was acceptable. My orange semolina cake was pretty tasteless though, with a dry, mealy texture, and I found the saffron ice cream it came with overpoweringly floral. The whole thing also came with a load of bright pink fluff, that looked like a hipster's hair extension had fallen onto my plate. I did taste a bit of it and it was vaguely rose flavoured, which didn't really help with the already excessive floral-ness.
Anyway, odd deserts aside, I still really liked Caravan. It had a nice, relaxed atmosphere, service was friendly (though catching someone's eye was sometimes a little problematic), and most of the food was pretty good. It is also incredibly handy to have somewhere nice to go and eat near King's Cross, as that's the London station I use most. Lunch for the two of us was around £40 (with no alcoholic drinks), so is also very reasonable cost-wise. So I would happily go back to Caravan, but perhaps while maintaining a healthy scepticism with regard to their puddings.
1 Granary Square
London N1C 4AA