A lot of people hear Croydon and instantly look back to the 2011 riots and think the worst, but Croydon has a lot more to offer than just trouble.
The truth is, that as you head towards South Croydon, there are so absolute gems when it comes to food. Ad and I are on a mission to try more of what our local scene has to offer and post it up here for you guys to view.
Today, we're looking at the Cote D'Azur which offers up a fusion of French and Mauritian cuisine. It's a small family run business situated in the heart of Croydon Restaurant Quarter which, at the time of writing is ranked number 7 of 370 odd restaurants in Croydon on Trip Advisor and has even secured a Certificate of Excellence.
Lets crack on shall we?
As we wanted to try a bit of everything, we went in with the mindset that we'd try and polish off three courses, a starter, main and pudding if we had room.
To start, I had the chicken liver pate with brioche, onion chutney and pickles which, as you'd expect was a scrummy combination of rich and creamy pate, super sweet brioche and some slight tartness and tang from the chutney and pickles.
Ad opted for the Mauritian crab soup which, as you can see arrived complete with shell so you know it was super fresh. The base was a subtly spiced fusion of Indian and African spices which we couldn't quite put our finger on. Either way, it was delicious and didn't overpower the subtle crab flavour.
Next, for mains I had the plaice stuffed with seafood which came with a Lemoncello sauce, crushed tatties and broccoli. It arrived looking so artfully put together it seemed a shame to tuck into it. The seafood inside was a mix of prawns, squid and mussels from what I could see and was perfectly complimented by the sweet Lemoncello sauce. The fish was wonderful and tender and flaked apart beautifully.
Ad went for the red snapper with a creole sauce, paprika potatoes, rice and more of that yummy Mauritian based sauce. Looking at the food, it was hard to believe we weren't eating in a top notch London based restaurant. Both of the main as you'd imagine were delicious and arrived rather impeccably presented, they didn't take too long to polish off.
Feeling suitably stuffed by this point, it was a real struggle to try and order a desert, but when I saw a chocolate pot complete with chocolate ice cream I just couldn't resist. The chocolate pot was super thick, rich and cocoa heavy which is just what the Dr ordered.
In true Ad style, he ordered the chocolate brownie which also came with a helping of ice cream. I could tell he was suffering from food envy but this didn't stop him polishing off every last morsel of this decadently gooey chocolate treat.
All in all, including service our bill came to a little over £50 which is an absolute steal for three courses for two, especially given the quality of the food involved. The restaurant was pretty quiet which is surprising given we were eating at 6pm on a Saturday night! The food was fantastic and this is just one of a number of places in the Croydon Restaurant Quarter which deserve to be much busier than they are.
The Cote D'Azur offers fantastic value for money, top notch food and service with a smile. I would not hesitate to recommend this place to anyone in the area who enjoys traditional French cuisine with a bit of a twist.
Have you visited the Croydon Restaurant Quarter? What's your favourite spot to eat?