Brunch at Caravan

So, I’d been dying to try Caravan King’s Cross for some time – a hot brunch spot that had been all over the media so after a big night out we decided to check it out. 

The restaurant is built in an old grain store across a bridge in a revamped area of King’s Cross – Granary Square – I loved the warehouse building feel with it’s open kitchen and coffee roastery, big windows, raw walls, wooden tables and lots of light coming in keeping the place bright and airy. Behind the bar is a no-man’s land of industrial-scale equipment for, presumably, roasting and grinding fresh beans. These Antipodean coffee places have been springing up all over London – Flat White in Soho kicked the movement off – and Caravan is said to be one of the best.  Without a doubt the coffee was lush as was the fresh juices and breakfast tea that we ordered. 

The restaurant doesn’t take bookings so we waited for 30 minutes before being seated – we were able to wait near the roastery watching the coffee beans being ground and made into lattes and flat whites. I did see several empty tables and given it was such a hot day, it seemed too busy for the staff to cope. Once we were seat, we quickly ordered: poached eggs on sourdough bread with a side of roasted field mushrooms and  Neil went for: Coffee cured salmon, fennel, orange, crème fraîche, rye bread. There were some other interesting dishes such as coconut bread or Raclette and spinach French toast, bacon, watercress which sound appealing!

Food was great but I found the portions too small – considering this to be breakfast and lunch portions which was a shame. Normally you get two slices of bread but here they only give you one slice for each dish. 

I was glad to have tried here but wouldn’t go back – it was expensive for what you got and definitely not a filling meal plus the service was hit and miss….perhaps now the hype is over it has lost it’s touch…

Chuck Burger Bar in Harrow

Chuck

Hubby and I love going to burger bars but there’s none close to where we live. The nearest one is either GBK in Brent Cross (hate that BX) or Hampstead (missions with parking) so was dying to try Chuck Burger Bar in Hatch End. Hatch End is known for being full of restaurants with Casa Mia, Fellini  and Sea Pebbles being favourites so it was in a great location. 

We decided to go for Neil’s first Father’s Day, so bundled up little one and went to the restaurant. It’s a really cool place with some funky wall art designed by street artist: Bejamin McCoy and a lawn outside! We were seated almost immediately and as it was after lunch wasn’t overly busy. Walls were uncovered bricks and there were a range of chairs for each table with the front of the restaurant having more of a bar feel.

I do find that burger bars don’t many veg options – usually a soya burger and that’s all. I remember when I was younger, we used to order burgers without the meat and just the salad/cheese/tomatoes from Burger King – there were no veg options then. Chuck has two tasty sounding options: Zingy Tower Burger (haloumi, portobello mushroom and pickled beetroot)  or Bandito Bean Burger (bean and veg patty).

I went for the Bandito and have to say it was one of the best burgers I’ve ever had. The patty was well-cooked and the toppings were coated with just a right amount of sauce which gave a spicy kick to the burger experience. The best thing about the burgers were the buns used – fresh brioche rolls from Millers Bakery. It gave it that added delicious taste! Triple fried fries were obviously home made and tasted different from other burger restaurants – shame they have to be ordered separate to the burger. Neil was torn between the lamb burger, chicken or pulled pork but ended up going for the huli hili chicken burger which was a spicy chicken breast with salad, monterey cheese and jalapenos with a side of coleslaw! All I can say is that loved it!!

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We didn’t have starters as the portions are huge but I was torn between the brunch and burger menu. Of course as it is a burger bar, that was the way forward. I’ll be back to try the French Toast stack. We ended with a celebratory dessert – Lazy Brownie Sunday in a jar which was ice cream, whipped cream, brownie topped with oreos. It was delish but a little too rich – I didn’t think there was a necessity for both ice cream and whipping cream.

The meal was a little pricey and I would go back for special occasions – perhaps to even try the brunch menu. If you’re passing by then do pop in for a meal – no reservations means they will always accommodate you. The website is under construction but menu and photos on their Facebook page.

Bubbles in my dog

So hot dogs and bubbles sound like a strange combination but one that sounds out of this world – epic as my friends would say. Judging by the long queues and wait time at Bubbledogs, I wasn’t the only one to want to go to this popular restaurant. With its understated frontage and red neon sign, Bubbledogs looks like it could be a New York restaurant rather than sitting on the quiet end of Charlotte Street. It was definitely a place for me to try out.

There’s no booking system and people just mill around outside the small restaurant (19 covers) waiting to be called from the list. An hour later and full of excitement to try this odd combination, the four of us girls got our own bench and stools to sit on. There was a waft of sweet potato fries as we we went inside the smallish restaurant with exposed brick walls and and bare wooden floorboards – you could champagne bottles and glasses on every table. 

There’s an extensive drinks menu with a collection of cocktails and beers, but we were here for the bubbles. There’s two pages of champagnes, none of which we had ever heard of. The lovely waitress explained that all their champagne is sourced from small, independent growers. Being a little broke with two of us not working full-time, we opted for the cheapest bottle to share between four – £32 for a delectable rose champagne. The most expensive was around the £200 mark!

Bubbles Time Hot dogs and sidesAnd it was onto hot doggy time: you can select your dog from a choice of pork, beef or veggie. The menu of hot dogs is large with 13 options and they have extremely cool, very cliché names like “Trishna Dog” for an Indian inspired hot dog, “K-Dawg” for a hot dog with a Korean twist and “Jose” for a Mexican inspired style dog, or have them naked. I opeted for the Ploughman which contained piccalilli (Indian pickles), apple, beer pickled onion and cheese.

Ploughmans

Alongside the hot dogs, we went for sides of Tater Tots: a mix between hash brown and a croquette, sweet potato fries and home-made coleslaw. The hot dogs were tasty and moreish- and no complaints from any of my friends. And at the end we’re giving a little book to write in – cute, kitsch touch.

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There were no desserts on the menu so we walked around the corner to a newly opened Italian gelato: Tesoro – these do seem to be popping up everywhere. The pistachio ice cream was amazing!

The concept is definitely cool and nicely executed with a great creative twist. An odd pairing that works well – apparently the co-owner of Bubbledogs’ Sandia Chang loves the 2 things and thought she could combine them in a restaurant. I’ll definitely be back here as the food and bubbles were a great choice …despite the wait which just makes you more hungry.