Thursday, June 16, 2011


Last Friday, my dearest mum Aída Morris was visiting Manchester for her annual conference at the AQA HQ about the new Spanish GCSE. Therefore, Bailey and I arranged to meet her in the exact same spot we met her last year when she was on her annual conference at the AQA HQ about the new Spanish GCSE - on Saint Anne's Square.

Panicking on the way there because, as usual, we had forgotten to look for / ask around about a new place to take Aída to eat, we stumbled across the city centre branch of Croma. Astounded that the place was absolutely packed to the rafters at 5:30 pm on a Friday, we decided to check out the menu.

I have only heard excellent things about Croma - about the Chorlton branch from the kids at Chorlton High School and my colleague who lives up the road from there, and also about the city centre branch from my fellow NQT colleague who had gone there one Saturday night and happily waited an hour for a table because they knew the food would be good and such good value. Also it was voted one of the UK's Top 10 restaurants by The Times. So we decided that Croma it would be.

Once inside we were taken to our table upstairs by the friendly and attentive staff and marvelled at how nice the atmosphere was. We really liked the simple décor and the cute little spotlights that shone onto the little flowers in the middle of each table.

We all agreed that the place felt really relaxed but still quite fancy without being too posh.

What people have always told me about Croma is that it is really inexpensive to eat there and we were pretty surprised when we read the menu and saw that basically everything on there was priced at under a tenner.

I decided to order a Roast Vegetable Lasagne with a mixed salad on the side.

I was really looking forward to a tasty lasagne and the description on the menu sounded right up my street - plenty of yummy Mediterranean veggies like courgettes, aubergines and peppers. I know that sometimes veggie lasagnes can sometimes be quite dry and tasteless. But actually my lasagna was perfect. It was so gorgeous and creamy, with absolutely loads of cheese in - I couldn't put my fork in without a huge string of delicious mozzarella coming out and it was super decadent. Mmm!

Bailey decided to order the Chorizo Picante pizza.

Bailey was blown away by his pizza and said that his pizza dough was "the best he has ever had in the UK". The base was perfectly crispy on the outside and actually blackened in places so really rustic. The dough was also thick enough that there was still chewy dough in the middle which balanced it all our perfectly. Bailey wished he had gone for a slightly more adventurous topping a bit like the one he had at Dough that time.

Aída went for the Mushroom and Goat's Cheese Penne with chicken which she also really enjoyed and the waiter was happy to help her out with advice on the menu when she wasn't sure what to order.

Teamed with great service, the meal at Croma was a thumbs up all round. The only complaint we had was that all three of us agreed we could have eaten the whole meal again straight away after... it wasn't that the portions were very small, in fact they were fairly standard, but I think that firstly we were all pretty hungry as it had been a busy day for all of us respectively, but also as the food was so yummy, you just wanted to keep on eating it and eating it. Seeing as it is so cheap maybe next time I will order two lasagnes like the greedy pig that I am.

Anyway the meal came to a bargainous £31 quid something for the three of us which we thought was a steal. We filled in a little comment card and put that we thought everything was excellent which the waiter (according to Bailey who was spying on him) was very pleased about.

We will definitely be returning to Croma in the near future, in fact just today I strolled past the Chorlton branch and I really wanted to go in as it looked absolutely lovely - loads of ladies enjoying a glass of Pimms on the terrace.

I would recommend Croma to any lovers of Italian food who are looking for a bargain and a relaxed yummy meal.

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