Arancini Brothers Factory – Kentish Town

Reviewed on July 5th, 2015 by Dina

You may have seen the Arancini Brothers pop up at various food markets. This is one of their cafes called the Arancini Factory situated in Kentish Town.

The cafe is fairly spacious with lime green backed seats and wooden tables. Lots of light streams in from the shop front. The kitchen is by the counter at the back of the restaurant. Newspapers, magazines and a notice board have things for you to read while you wait for your food. Soft music plays in the background.

The staff were friendly and didn’t mind me asking questions about the menu. The risotto balls at the Arancini Brothers Factory are all vegetarian and they also do vegan ones. The vegan ones differ from the vegetarian ones in that they do not contain cheese or butter but instead have courgette and olive oil.

Arancini Brothers FactoryArancini Brothers Factory Mushroom WrapArancini Brothers Factory TableArancini Brothers Factory InteriorArancini Brothers Factory CakesArancini Brothers Factory Interior 2

Three risotto balls with salad and garlic mayo are inside a soft tortilla. It comes wrapped in foil and in a paper bag all on a plate. Cutlery and sauces are provided on the tables.

The wrap is jam packed with salad which included grated carrot, beans, sweetcorn, peppers, cucumber and mixed green leaves. The vegan risotto balls were delicious. It was nice not to have the cheese in them and also they was a slight spice to them.

It was pleasantly surprising at how fresh tasting the wraps were even though they had the fried risotto balls. The braised mushrooms with the salad and the risotto balls made a delicious combination.

Apart from the wraps, Arancini Brothers Factory also do hot stews, salads or you can just have the risotto balls served on their own with chutney. Cakes, muffins, teas and coffees are on offer.

Cute tiles are on the walls where people have signed how many times they have visited. It shows that Arancini Brothers Factory is a popular place!

If you fancy something for breakfast, then come before noon on weekdays or anytime on the weekend. Here the risotto balls are teamed with bacon, egg, mushrooms, roast tomatoes, crispy onions and the Arancini Brothers signature breakfast mayo!

Arancini Brothers Factory, 115A Kentish Town Road, London, NW1 8PB

Rating: ★★★★★

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Le Trimaran – Nice, France

Reviewed on June 25th, 2015 by Dina

A mother and daughter team seemed to be running the fantastic creperie Le Trimaran. They were constantly busy with not a moment to spare. In between taking orders, clearing tables, washing up and making the food, they gave such good service and were friendly.

Le Trimaran consists of an open kitchen and a small relaxed cosy dining area. There were locals, families and tourists all getting their fix of the delicious crepes. Colourful seating and parasols make up the outdoor eating area with boards displaying the menus of galettes, crepes, salads and omelettes.

Le Trimaran La Ratatouille GaletteLe TrimaranLe Trimaran Lemon CrepeLe Trimaran KitchenLe Trimaran Menu BoardLe Trimaran InteriorLe Trimaran AreaLe Trimaran Lemon TreeLe Trimaran Nice View

The menu made our choices a little bit easier as there was a set menu where you had a choice of a savoury galette and a sweet crepe. The La Ratatouille galette had the fillings of cheese, egg and ratatouille vegetables. The galette was made from buckwheat flour and the tomato based vegetables worked well with the cheese and egg. Chunks of aubergine, courgette and peppers were the ratatouille vegetables.

When the menu stated that there was egg as the filling, I assumed that it would be scrambled egg or even hard boiled egg. So there was a bit of a surprise when the La Ratatouille galette was served and it contained a runny fried egg. The staff were so accommodating when I explained that a fully cooked yolk would be preferred. They took the galette away and recooked it so the egg was properly cooked. The mother of the team came and made sure that it was to my liking. It was really lovely that the staff showed genuine care towards us and they wanted the food to be right.

The sweet crepes were a lot lighter than the galettes and just as delicious. Seeing lemons growing on trees the day before made me want to try the simple lemon crepes. Together with sugar and cinnamon, the tart lemon taste still came through.

The homemade salted butter caramel crepe had a wonderful richness to it. You can never go wrong with the classic nutella crepe too.

Le Trimaran is a great place to come for classic crepes. All of the food that we had was so fresh and tasty. If we had discovered it earlier, it sure would have been visited again and again!

Le Trimaran, 13 Place Saint-Francois, 06300, Nice

Rating: ★★★★★

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Caravan – Kings Cross

Reviewed on June 2nd, 2015 by Dina

Birthdays are always good to be celebrated but sometimes the organising of such an event can require some time. Hence together with a friend, we decided to plan a birthday dinner for a close friend. Originally Grain Store was suggested but as it was fully booked even though the booking was tried to be made a few weeks before the event, the next option was Caravan next door.

The area in and around Kings Cross and the canal has undergone a big change compared to a few years ago. The regenerated area has made way for Granary Square, “grass” covered stairs, deckchairs and playful fountains. Granary Square has also become home to a few restaurants.

Caravan has a lively atmosphere and a great vibe about the place. It has a warehouse feel to it with exposed metal frames. The kitchen is at one end. Candlesticks and low lighting decorate the windows and the dining area.

Caravan Place SettingCaravanCaravan InteriorCaravan Jalapeno Corn BreadCaravan Chickpea ChipsCaravan Olive and Herb FocacciaCaravan Watermelon and TofuCaravan Butterbean and Heirloom TomatoesCaravan Heritage CarrotsCaravan Aubergine MaghmourCaravan CappucinoCaravan Hot WaterCaravan Interior 2Caravan Granary SquareCaravan Canal

The menu is split into small plates, large plates, breads/cheeses/meats and sides. This makes it great for a group of diners as it enables you to try a variety of dishes. Caravan boasts a fantastic range of really fresh seasonal vegetarian food. The dishes are brought out as soon as they are made so they come at random times. This is not a bad thing as it gives you time to start sampling the delights.

For the breads, a corn bread and focaccia was chosen. The corn bread was not spicy even though it had jalapeno. It had a nice flavour and was more cake like than bread. The olive and herb focaccia came as two wedges with la saba butter. It was not oily at all.

Caravan puts flavours that you wouldn’t think to put together such as watermelon, tofu, coconut yogurt and lemongrass caramel but it really does work. One of my favourites had to be the chickpea chips with the jalapeno ketchup. Gone away is the grainy falafel like texture which is what I was expecting. Instead, the chickpea chips had a wonderful smooth puree like interior with a crispy outer.

Butterbeans with heirloom tomatoes and goat’s curd had a real freshness to it. This was helped by the gazpacho dressing. Contrasting colours of the heritage carrots was beautiful. The carrots had a bite to them and hence were not overcooked. The dish also had goats cheese, sultanas, greens and ras el hanout. The large place of aubergine maghmour, courgette, dukkah, yogurt and sumac focaccia was delicious and hearty.

For dessert, I was lucky enough to try a bit of the chocolate pot with raspberry and blackcurrants. The rich chocolate contrasted the tart berries. What is there not to like?!

Caravan specialises in coffee and they are coffee traders and a roastery. The decaffeinated cappuccino was really smooth and made a good end to the feast. Hot water was also served and this was given in a teapot.

The only qualm that I have about Caravan is that they only give diners two hours and fifteen minutes at the table. So the issue that we came across was that when we were told that our time was up at the table, the staff still let us order more drinks. This brought about some confusion as in where were they expecting us to drink the drinks if we had to leave the table. It seems like the days are gone where you can just spend as long as you want out for dinner. It is a shame to have to be time conscious, especially when you are out for a special occasion.

On a plus note, when Caravan was emailed prior to the booking, asking about certain dietary requirements and queries about their food, they did respond with some good suggestions. The staff and service was good and friendly.

All in all the evening out at Caravan was a success! The main thing is that the birthday girl did have a good time for her dinner out with friends. Guess we should start planning something for next year!

Caravan, Granary Building, 1 Granary Square (off Goods Way), London, N1C 4AA

Rating: ★★★★½

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