Caravan is a small chain of three super trendy restaurants with a focus on adjectives – I think very few of the nouns on the menu were unaccompanied! It’s a bit weird (and probably too cool for me) in that staff don’t wear uniforms, so you have to look to see if the hipster walking around has a tiny grey apron before you accost them with your order, in case they are a customer. It’s in the Granary Place development behind Kings Cross, so feels like you are in a converted warehouse…because you are.
We went a little early which meant we got a seat, but also meant the photo is a bit unfair. 10 minutes after I took it, all the tables were full. They were also full outside when we arrived. The staff, when we got the right people, were broadly friendly, though a couple of them weren’t very interested in helping us. The one who took our order wasn’t on top of the menu, not realising that quite a few dishes were off, and told us the wrong translation for one dish.
That was the duck leg (in the featured photo) which was meant to come with big beans and ong choi, which we were told was radish. Actually, we thought it would translate as kangkung, Asian water spinach, and it turned out it was just spinach! They have updated their menu in the interim to reflect this. Anyway, fiancée thought it was ok, but a little small. The big beans were a little plain.
Jalapeño cornbread wasn’t too sweet, and had a lot of spice to it. The chipotle butter wasn’t really powerful enough to overcome the jalapeños, but it was quite tasty on its own.
The cheese board was served with a lavosh – an interesting very thin, very crispy flatbread, which was almost a cracker. Fiancée monopolised the gouda, so I stuck to the average Brie and the strong blue. The latter went nicely with the piccalilli.
The food is quite nice, but the portions are very small and expensive, and the service is casual and cool instead of professional – it seems like a bunch of mates doing someone a favour. I don’t rule out going back to Caravan, but I will check out the other places nearby first.
Address: 1 Granary Square, London N1C4AA