Bored of the usual brunch menus, eggs benny, florentine or royal, pancakes with bacon and maple, eggs any way you want on sourdough or rye, and avo on toast?
Brunch is so popular these days, after all that’s what weekends are for now, but it doesn’t mean every restaurant needs to serve the same boring menu. And I know what you’re thinking, there’s only so many ways you can shake up breakfast ingredients, but do you really believe that?
I went to Caravan on Exmouth Market for a girls catch up over a boozy brunch and was pleasantly surprised by the menu. From jalapeno cornbread to a red quinoa and buckwheat grain bowl and avocado and poached eggs on toast, Caravan had a variety of unique dishes sitting alongside it’s breakfast classics – so customers can choose whether to stay with the known or venture out. I bet you can guess which way we ordered.
Caravan itself is a cute restaurant, bar and coffee roastery. On the corner of Exmouth Market, this is the first of its now three branches (there’s one in Kings Cross and one in Bankside now too), and is obviously still a keen favourite among Londoners. The interior is contemporary, bright and airy, with a glazed frontage on two sides and an outdoor terrace. The Caravan team were all super attentive with finding us a table, and throughout our visit.
Sat outside on a long wooden sharing bench basking in the sunshine, it was hard not to ogle other brunch dishes arriving at tables around us, whilst deciding on what to choose. Cocktail menu arriving on top of the food one, thoughts immediately turned to drinks, even with a slight hangover – hair of the dog always helps anyway right? And you can’t say no to an Aperol in the summer sun. Sipping away, people watching, and catching up on the gossip kept us preoccupied until the food arrived.
Beautifully presented, and causing me serious amounts of food envy, the aubergine puree, with perfectly cooked poached eggs, preserved lemon gremolata, sumac, creamy yoghurt and freshly grilled flat bread, looked as good as it sounds. A fab mix of earthy, savoury flavours combined with the slightly sweet yoghurt and zingy citrus gremolata. The warm flat bread was great for mopping up the remains until every last mouthful was finished.
I may have had food envy, but it was more that I wanted both dishes that arrived – yes I suffer from eyes bigger than my tummy syndrome quite often.
The Jalapeno Cornbread with frijoles negros, fried eggs, avocado, chipotle and lime was quite honestly one of the best brunches in recent memory. The cornbread, a mix of sweet and savoury flavours, slightly crisp on the outside, yet soft and crumbly.
Combined with the almost meaty, rich flavour of the frijoles negros (pretty much black beans), the rich yolk, fresh creamy avocado, and chipotle, it was a seriously good mashup of flavours and textures which created one incredible brunch dish.
Full, and probably ready for a nap (I think it was more the hangover than the food baby which had suddenly grown inside my mom jeans), we were quite content sat with a second Aperol, watching the early afternoon rush come to a lull.
At just under £30 each for a main course, two alcoholic beverages and service, it’s not too badly priced at all. Creative and delicious brunch dishes, good service and an afternoon in the sun sipping Aperol, what more do you want for a Saturday morning?
Have you been anywhere new recently that’s had a pretty unique menu?