Restaurant Review: Apatura


By - Thursday 17th April, 2014

Joy Akwue-Butler finds a friendly family run restaurant the perfect place to catch up with friends and eat delicious food


14 South End, Croydon, CR0 1DL
Time from East Croydon  15
 minutes

Image taken by author and used with permission.

On the evening of Wednesday 2nd April I had arranged to meet up with my friends Pete and Fiona at Apatura restaurant in South Croydon. We meet up once a month and each time, we try to find a different restaurant to visit in the Croydon area, as we all work close by.

As soon as I stepped into the restaurant I was warmly welcomed by James, the marketing manager, who led me to our table where Fiona and Pete were already seated enjoying a glass of red wine.

Apatura is located on South End road in the restaurant quarter. When you enter the building there is a bar area on the right hand side, with the large restaurant to the left. The whole place has a modern stylish feel about it. The best tables are around the fireplace, as I feel round tables make it easier to hold a conversation.

Apatura advertise themselves as offering ‘Modern British, Mediterranean & Tex-Mex food’, but it originally started life as Conchitas Mexican Grill and was located across the road. It is a family-run restaurant with the father Terry and his son Cem who are often on the premises ensuring that everything is running smoothly. As it was the middle of the week, we were able to take advantage of their set menu (available Monday to Thursday), which offers two courses for £13.95 or three courses for £15.95.

If mine had not been so delicious, I would have offered to share it with the others!

For her starter Fiona chose the classic nachos – served with tomato salsa, sour cream, guacamole and sliced jalapeño peppers. Pete chose the lightly dusted calamari – served with mixed salad and sweet chilli dip and I had the homemade kofte with braised cinnamon red cabbage and pitta bread. If mine had not been so delicious, I would have offered to share it with the others! Having said that I didn’t get an offer to taste theirs either, so I can only assume at the rate that the food disappeared off their plates, that they felt the same way!

We had a nice break between courses, where we caught up on each other’s news, Fiona had recently returned from a three week cruise around Asia, so she had a few tales to tell!

Image taken by author and used with permission.

Our main course arrived after a suitable pause. Fiona had chosen the baby back pork ribs glazed in a smoked BBQ sauce with chips, coleslaw and salad. Pete had ordered the aged rump steak with homemade chips, shallot rings, confit vine tomato and mushroom – he was offered various sauces to go with his steak, which he turned down. They both washed their meals down with a bottle of Spanish red wine called Terrasa Tempranillo, £13.95. Meanwhile, I had the chicken shish with homemade chips and mixed salad and enjoyed a large glass of Spanish white wine called Terrasa Viura, £4.95. Throughout the evening both Jack our main waiter and James came to check that everything was alright. Each time they came to our table, they were smiling and making conversation (there’s nothing worse than being served by someone who is looking miserable!)

During the course of the evening I visited the ladies – where I found the toilets clean and presentable. Fresh individual hand towels were provided in the basket by the sinks.

I thought that both my meat dishes were tender and delicious

At the end of our evening together I asked Fiona and Pete for their overall comments about their meals. Fiona said the food was “very nice” and Pete said that his steak was “beautiful” and the meal “gorgeous”. I thought that both my meat dishes were tender and delicious. My only complaint was the amount of red onions in my ‘mixed salad’ – I would have preferred more lettuce leaves and tomatoes.

I will definitely go back to Apatura and would recommend that you try it yourself. The menu is varied with a large selection of dishes to choose from, all beautifully presented. Book a table by calling: 020 8688 9416 or email: you can also visit their website.

Joy Akwue-Butler

Joy Akwue-Butler

Joy Akwue-Butler works as the Operations Manager for IKM TeckChek Europe whose UK office is based in Croydon. She has lived and worked in the area for over 20 years. She currently lives in Caterham with her partner and has one daughter – Jasmine. Joy loves eating good food and enjoys socialising!

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