Caravan Kings Cross, London

i am ever thankful for the weekly long weekends i have the pleasure of indulging in; its amazing what a difference an extra day (or two #terrifictimetabling heehee :P) off school can make! indeed, monday blues this week were even more non-existent than normal because the weather was amazing and we celebrated a very dear friend’s birthday with good food (both at brunch and dinner mmm…) and even better company ❤

after successfully surprising aforementioned birthday girl bright and early at 9am in the morning by sneaking into her room and hiding behind her bed before jumping out screaming “surprise” as the best birthday song ever started playing, we set off for caravan at kings cross for birthday brunch.

perhaps it was the beautiful weather that day which made all the difference, but i loved the look and feel of granary square where caravan is located. housing the central st martins school, the former goods yard is made up of tall imposing buildings surrounding a large bustling square with a carpet of little dancing fountains. there’s also a little canal running by the side of the square with lots of activity going on. the inside of the building was equally impressive – a large trendy space with high ceilings, plenty of seating area and a palpable buzz from a healthy and extremely trendy crowd.
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one of the best things about caravan is that they open early (8am on weekdays) and close late (midnight on fridays and saturdays); it really is a great place for all-day dining. they have a different menu for different mealtimes throughout the day, and they are the kind of menus which make you want to order everything on them because everything sounds yummy 😛 check out the menus here.

we started off our meal with a pick from their list of daily bakes – a spiced apple crumble slice which was a very delicious start to our brunch:
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spiced apple crumble slice – £3 (if i’m not wrong), £3.50 at the most
we were actually expecting more of a cakeslice-type slice of tart but this was good all the same. it was moist and dense and the crumble on top was yummy, lending the slice a nice addition of texture, crunch and just the right amount of sweetness coming from the fresh, juicy and subtly-spiced apples. needless to say, it was gone in no time, long before our other orders arrived…

as for the mains, i opted for the jalapeno cornbread. i had wanted to try their aubergine puree dish but they had run out! 😦 nevertheless, the cornbread was satisfying:
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jalapeno cornbread, fried eggs, black beans, guindilla pepper – £8.50
it isn’t quite clear in the picture but the dish consisted of 2 pieces of cornbread and 2 fried eggs. i love cornbread and this was no exception. the jalapenos added an exciting twist and upped the spicy game of the bread, while bits of corn embedded in the bread balanced it out with sweetness. the bread was dense and moist as it should be, but i found it a tad oily – perhaps from the fried eggs rather than the bread itself? (not quite sure about the oil source) i also loved the beans that added further texture and bite, and the fried eggs that had wonderfully crispy edges and perfectly runny yolks. they were the perfect accompaniment to the bread!

the other popular choice at the table was the baked eggs:
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baked eggs, tomato pepper ragout, greek yoghurt, toast, with chorizo sausage – £9.50
i only had a few bites of this so can’t say much about it, but it was enough for me to appreciate the ultra tastiness of the tomato ragout – it was hearty, tangy (but not acidic) and extremely flavourful. the yoghurt and runny yolks topping the ragout perfected the mix of flavours. the chorizo was also one of the yummier ones i’ve had included in a brunch dish – iit was moist and tender, a far cry from the tough and dry chorizo one is sometimes unfortunate enough to encounter in life.

last but certainly not least, we got a serving of coconut bread to share:
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coconut bread, lemon curd cream cheese, poached rhubarb – £7.50
given the serving size, i thought this dish was on the pricey side. no regrets getting it though, because it was a refreshing accompaniment to our savoury mains. my favourite part of this dish was definitely the lemon curd – smooth, thick, creamy and a perfect balance between sweet and sour. i loved it and found myself using every but of rhubarb and coconut bread left to soak it all up! the coconut bread on its own left less of an impression; there was only a very faint hint of coconut and if not for the odd bit of coconut that i chanced upon in the process of enjoying this dish, i would have completely forgotten that it was meant to be coconut bread. maybe if i had had it without the lemon curd, the coconut flavour would have shone through more. texture-wise the bread was dense and moist like banana bread which i really enjoyed. the rhubarb added a good juicy crunch to round the dish up.

all in all, we were really satisfied with the food and ambience of the place but the one thing which we all found lacking was the service. it wasn’t particularly personal or warm; in fact, it was rather abrupt and cold at times. perhaps it has to do with the restaurant’s location and it catering to lots of hip and cool arty farty types? that said, it doesn’t detract too much from the fact that good food is served in a nice ambience, so it is definitely worth checking out if you have some spare time before or after catching a train. i didn’t try any, but i heard the coffee is good too! and did i mention that they take reservations?

Caravan Kings Cross
Granary Building, 1 Granary Square
London N1C 4AA20141027_101909 20141027_101041

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Foxcroft and Ginger, London

started hearing lots about this cafe in soho recently, and after doing a bit of stalking of their instagram location tag (tip: best way to get yourself excited about imminent meals), i decided that i had to make a trip there pronto.

foxcroft & ginger is probably somewhere you’d walk right past if you weren’t looking for it; it has a rather narrow storefront at the very start of a stretch in soho that isn’t full of food outlets (berwick street) like the rest of the streets of soho are. people definitely do know of its existence though, given the healthy crowd that was there at 11am on a weekday morning. it is a simply but stylishly decorated space, and gives off a really chill/laid-back vibe, perfect for putting you in the mood to have a cup of tea and slice of cake (actually do you even need a mood for that? that’s basically my permanent mood.).
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downstairs seating area

the menu had a great range of what we thought were very reasonably-priced breakfast/brunch options:20140227_11141920140227_111425nothing excites me more than an extensive brunch menu; what’s there not to love about breakfast food? get in ma belly!!!

they also serve pizzas and some very enticing-sounding buns when brunch is over; the menu can be found at their website!

you place your order at the counter, where you’ll probably be drawn to some (or several) of their sweet treats on display:
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the french toast with ham, cheese & honey mustard came highly recommended and seemed to be a very popular choice with their patrons, so that’s what i opted for! as for my friend, he couldn’t resist a good plate of eggs benny with smoked salmon. and we couldn’t resist the scones on display that were calling out to us, so we got a scone with butter and jam as well, to share between us.

food was promptly served, and soon i had some of the most delicious-looking (and tasting too, i subsequently learnt) toast sitting happily before me:
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french toast with ham, mature cheddar & honey mustard – £6.20

craving more of this right now as i type this post. just look at it!!! -drool alert- this was like a ham and cheese toastie on serious steroids. my favourite part of it was the honey mustard; it added a light sweetness which made what would have already been yummy ham & cheese toast even better. the honey also prevented the toast from being too dry as regular toasties can sometimes be. the bread was drenched in sweet (but not overly so) syrupy goodness which made it moist, but it was added in just the right amount so that it did not become soggy. the ham was delicious as was the cheddar, and the bread was warm and wonderful. also, check out that amazing melty gooey cheese:
20140227_113745what’s there not to love?

my friend had the eggs benny with smoked salmon:20140227_113501
eggs benedict with smoked salmon – £8.25

i didn’t have much of it (was too preoccupied with stuffing my face with french toast), but had enough to know that this was good eggs benny (though not particularly outstanding)! the muffins were nice and fluffy while the hollandaise sauce was light and yummy. the eggs were also perfectly poached. my friend enjoyed it and was satisfied!

as mentioned earlier, the scones on display at the counter where we placed our orders were begging to be eaten, so we ordered a plain one to share. it was served with jam and butter:
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luckily the scone was rather large, because it was yummy and we might have been a little sad if it was any smaller and resulted it in us getting through it any more quickly hahaha. my favourite part of it was the crusty edges on the outside while the inside (ahh i should have taken a picture) remained soft and moist. it was dense, and i really liked the jam that accompanied it (i wonder if they make it themselves…). my only regret is that i didn’t have it sooner because scones are always that bit yummier when eaten all warm and toasty!

i really enjoyed foxcroft and ginger 🙂 i hear their pancakes (irresistible combination of berries, bacon, mascaporne and syrup) are amazing, and i will definitely be heading back to try them!
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Foxcroft and Ginger

3 Berwick Street
London W1F 0DR

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PS. if you haven’t had enough dessert there, or even if you have but are just greedy like me, snog is very conveniently located just a 1 minute stroll away:
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the only thing better than a snog special – a snog special in the sun!!! HELLO SPRING 🙂

L’eto Caffe, London

i have never once walked past this cafe along wardour street without stopping to admire the cakes on display in the shop window. i never ventured in however, until the queue at breakfast club (see review here) proved to be way too long on a sunday morning, and this seemed to be a decent substitute that was round the corner. it was busy when we visited but not overly so, enough to have a nice lively atmosphere but yet not too crowded and noisy. we were pleasantly surprised by the pretty good range of breakfast/brunch items that were all reasonably-priced.

there was a steady stream of customers the entire time we were there, and when we left slightly before noon, there was a crowd at the door waiting to be seated so its definitely quite a popular choice in soho for good food! here’s the menu:20131020_104228

having seen the amazing cakes in the window, we seriously contemplated just having a massive breakfast of sweet cake treats, but since we had woken up that morning with our minds set on breakfast club pancakes, we decided that we would not be happy if we didn’t get our pancake fix, and ended up ordering the pumpkin and honey pancakes, 3 poached eggs served with tomatoes and avocado, as well as l’etos famous honey cake:20131020_110208

the servings were actually pretty small (or maybe they just seemed small in comparison to what we would have gotten if we had braved the breakfast club queue) but given the price we were paying, we were satisfied. service was brisk and extremely attentive, so we were happy customers!

20131020_105801pumpkin and honey pancakes with fresh berries and honey buttery sauce – £7.90

the pancakes were good! we both loved how they were really rather pumpkin-y, both in terms of texture and taste. they were light but i thought they could have been a little fluffier (they seemed to be more of the dense type of pancakes, possibly because of the pumpkin?) and maybe prettier too if they were more regularly-shaped (but this of course, is rather irrelevant because taste is what is most important, right?) 😛 i would also have preferred a more generous serving of berries, but was satisfied otherwise with the yummy honey drizzled all over as well as the nutty bits sprinkled on top that really added bite to the otherwise rather “soft” dish. i would say our pancake craving was successfully satisfied after this, so thats’s a good sign!

20131020_1102483 poached eggs served on warm artisan bread toast with tomato and avocado – £7.90

on hindsight, this is actually a really simple dish that can be put together at home for a fraction of the price, but i can never resist perfectly poached eggs and some avocados of perfect ripeness! the star of this dish was definitely the toast – the artisan sourdough bread they used was really yummy that it made me consider buying home an entire loaf. the eggs were poached to perfection (just look at that golden yolk just dying to burst and ooze out onto the bread!!! sorry i know my yolk fanatic tendencies are emerging once again…) and though simple, it was a satisfying dish of a trusty combination of ingredients that can never really go far wrong.

20131020_105550honey cake (about £4 for the slice if i’m not wrong!)

this cake is something i will return to l’eto for. we were spoilt for choice when it came to picking something sweet to end off our meal and were very tempted by other fancier looking tarts and amazingly prettily decorated cakes (check out pics at the end of the post), but this was the one cake that was highly recommended by the staff as their specialty and one of their most popular. i can definitely see why! despite the alternating layers of cream and cake, it was amazingly light and had a lovely honey flavour without being overly sweet as one would imagine. in fact, it was rather subtle (there was actually a stronger taste of caramelised biscuits than honey, i thought? not sure why though!), the cream was wonderfully fresh and i thought the cake had an interesting texture which i cannot quite describe. its definitely something that is rather unique and won’t find often at other cafes, so i’d recommend ordering this if you pay l’eto a visit!

besides cakes and things on the menu, they also have a counter for you to pick from a good range of salads and quiches if that’s what you prefer:
20131020_104058i certainly wouldn’t mind returning to give these a try!

l’eto is a good place in soho to have a light and affordable meal, and it seems that those cakes do taste as good as they look. so the next time you stop in your tracks to admire the amazing display of cakes in the shop window, why not allow yourself to succumb to temptation and have a cup of tea and some cake? i highly doubt you’ll regret it 🙂

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L’eto Caffe

155 Wardour St
London W1F 8WG