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Gypsy Caravan

Rustic food and enchanting surroundings make this pop-up a truly charming experience.
By Ben Tutty
August 16, 2016
By Ben Tutty
August 16, 2016

The Street Food Collective's laid back outdoor dining was never suited to the sideways rain and frigid temperatures of Auckland winters. For that reason, I praise the sweet mother of sharing plates for the arrival of Gypsy Caravan - a cosy, indoor, pop-up restaurant that has appeared in TSFC's place. Husband and wife team, Annalise and Ryan Clarke, are behind this new venture so expectations were set high from the get-go.

Gypsy Caravan is a fairly enchanting sight on entry. Red lanterns are strung across the roof, bathing intricately patterned persian rugs, booth seating and bright, floral table cloths in a soft glow. Plus rather than the food truck, wait in line service of TSFC, a small team of attentive waiters offer full table service, allowing you to stay huddled up by the heater if need be.

When it's time to order you're in for a hearty challenge indeed. If you're struggling, go for a selection of street food and sides - that way you can try as much as possible without maxing out the overdraft.

Highlights include the gyros, the best of which is the amazing soft shell crab ($14). It's tender, fried crab meat, slathered in black pepper sauce and cinnamon pickled cucumber, wrapped up in a crispy flatbread. The pan-fried ouzo cheese ($15) comes as a massive block, sizzling in a mini pan and served with sourdough. If you like cheese, salt and generally delicious things then DO NOT miss it.

For something main size choose the pan-fried fish d'agrume, with meyer lemon puree. I won't act like I know what that name means but it's utterly delicious, so it really doesn't matter.

Drinks wise, there's a fair bit to choose from with a few decent craft beer options and wines on offer if you're that way inclined. The cocktails looked absolutely delicious on paper and some are served in nifty Moroccan teapots, but I have to say they're the only part of the experience that underwhelmed slightly.

All things considered, Gypsy Caravan is a phenomenal new pop-up restaurant that embodies the colour and vibrancy of the regions that inspired its menu. Delicious-yet-rustic food and enchanting surroundings make dining here a truly charming experience, one that I'd happily recommend to anyone. Let's just hope they stick around for a while.

Photo by Josh Griggs

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