Third outpost of the fusion staple, in a Southwark ex-factory.
As you’d expect, the food at this third branch of coffee-roasters-turned-fusion-fare hawkers Caravan is sound – with a broad, globally peripatetic menu branching ever wider from the Antipodean fare it first made its name with in Exmouth Market all those years ago.
Snacks of cornbread and peanut wontons – practically humming with the earthy funk of blue cheese – are reliable staples harking back to those early menus, and Caravan succeeds best when merging East and West. This is exemplified in chive and pork potstickers – Chinese ‘gyoza’, if you like – served with a slick of black vinegar mayo. Also in a simple kale, pecorino and truffled umeboshi salad that was nevertheless an open-hand slap of flavour, liberal with the cheese and lousy with the salt-sweet of pickled plum. Then there was an excellent, densely meaty plate of yuzu-pickled mackerel – more akin to Scandinavian herring than the expected ceviche – and set off by the genius addition of brittle toasted buckwheat.
Duller notes come in the form of confit fennel with lemon gremolata – bereft of aniseedy freshness, as cooked fennel often is – and an anchovy, preserved lemon and jalapeño pizza that, while passable, sorely lacked a knockout flavour on account of the fish being marinated rather than salted.
As for the cavernous room – all lofty height, stripped wood and metal girders – it looks marvellous, though the the swathes of hard surfaces come at a cost. My God, are the acoustics terrible here. It almost makes you long for carpets.
But those are the only downsides. If Caravan keeps rolling out offshoots like this, then we should be grateful.
|Venue name:||Caravan Bankside||Contact:|
The Metal Box Factory
30 Great Guildford Street
|Opening hours:||Mon-Fri 8am-10.30pm; Sat 10am-10.30pm; Sun 10am-4pm.|
|Transport:||Tube: London Bridge|
|Price:||Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £90.|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
4.7 / 5
- 5 star:8
- 4 star:4
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:0
The food is out-of-this-world delicious. The biggest problem is deciding what to eat from the menu. This time we had the cod with wasabi truffle pureee (are you kidding me!?), the crispy chilli salt tofu, yuzu picketed mackerel and Burmese chicken salad. Blew my mind. If you haven't been already I suggest you drop what you're doing and go right this second.
Fantastic food and fantastic atmosphere. I went with my wife for dinner just after it had opened and we thought it was superb. Great atmosphere and service and food was truly great. We both shared a few small plates and a larger plate of lam meatballs. Loads of vegetable dishes to choose from with great use of spice and fresh ingredients. Could not find anything wrong with it. Had some cocktails which were really good as well. staff really friendly and attentive. all in all a great visit and will be returning for sure. would highly recommend.
Big tables and banquet seats allowed us to enjoy a night out with the 2 Kids for the first time! ( 5 months and 2! ) easy tasty food and fast service allowed us all to have what we wanted quickly tempura oysters a must, loved the little plate of crushed chilli, fresh oregano on the side of the pizza. Great wine list and check out the shrubs. Pioneers in this field! Will be back soon.
A great new place in the developing part of Bankside. A welcome addition. Caravan's other two venues were pioneers, and this one is as good as: the menu, the look and feel - all make sense. The food is amazing, the guys on the floor look happy (although at times a tad bit too relaxed perhaps) - a great place where food comes first. Try any of the vegetarian dishes (mains or small plates), or the pizzas - the nduja one was unbelievable!
Wonderful restaurant, great food, attentive service. We enjoyed our meal. Child-friendly restaurant. We had our two year old boy with us. He managed to break one of our glasses. Staff was great, cleaned up fast and replaced the drink.
Love Caravan and so excited to see they have opened in Bankside! Already been for brunch in the weekend and for dinner on Tuesday evening - was busy given they've only just opened! Loved the food, the atmosphere and the staff were really switched on and friendly too. Will be back.
How often does it happen to you to walk around town hungry and refuse to indulge in a pre-made cold fried chicken sandwich for lunch? Almost every day, right? My quest for something more than that led me to Caravan's latest branch opening in Bankside. Although it has been open only for a week it gave me the impression that everything has been well taken care of. I decided to go for a fresh chicken and noodles salad with a glass of Chenin Blanc to match my starter. The main was a sea bass with red curry and coconut sauce so delicious that I had to eat it slowly enough for the waiters to ask me if there was anything wrong with it. Medjool date and cardamon cake with an espresso was the perfect closing to this impromptu Thursday lunch for one. I am taking my other half there soon though.