Restaurant review: South Croydon’s little secret, Little Bay

By - Wednesday 9th July, 2014

Although sadly not seated in the operatic section, Jeet Sandhu enjoys a great value family meal at a South Croydon eatery that’s full of surprises

32 Selsdon Road, Croydon, CR2 6PB

Time from East Croydon: 15 minutes / 5 minutes by 119, 466 or 312

White chocolate and pistachio parfait – a perfect summery pudding.
Photo by Little Bay restaurant, Croydon, used with permission.

Little Bay is such a treat! You would never expect such a charm-filled venue to exist in Croydon but, luckily for us, it does!

The exterior of the restaurant looks like a Victorian semi-detached property, rather awkwardly situated on a mini-roundabout a stone’s throw from South Croydon station. If you plan to drive there, parking might be a little tricky.

My visit to the restaurant was part of a family celebration, therefore I was able to try a lot of the dishes on the à la carte menu. I also noticed an extensive drinks list.

‘Like dining in an opulent theatre’: book early for the seats to remember.
Photo by Little Bay restaurant, Croydon, used with permission.

The interior is like an opulent theatre, its booths embellished with golden theatrical props

The front of Little Bay is a simple table and chairs set-up. But the back is like an opulent theatre, walls and booths embellished with golden theatre props and luxurious colourful fabrics. If you’re after an extravagant dining experience – look for a table within the back section. My family and I did not realise that to be seated there means booking three weeks in advance.

The cuisine is modern European with an à la carte menu costing £11.90 for three courses. We had plenty of options to choose from including minute steak, cod and chicken leg with pear and blue cheese for mains. A variety of exciting options continued with the starters and dessert options also. I went for the vegetable soup as a starter – a little over-generous in portion size, but more-ish as it was light in consistency but full of flavour. I was also able to try the chicken satay, but found it a little chewy and overdone.

Chargrilled aubergines and tangy tomatoes accompanied the fish well

For mains I went for the minute steak with chips and salad. The beef itself was quite a thin cut of meat which lacked the usual flavour and consistency I’m used to with medium rare steak. That said, the meat was good quality and not fatty or tough. I also sampled the cod – very good in terms of flavour, and chargrilled aubergines and tangy tomato sauce accompanied the fish well.

As I have a sweet tooth I was looking forward to the last course – the dessert! I went for the white chocolate and pistachio parfait and found the white chocolate flavour quite delicate which complimented the slightly salty taste of the pistachio. The texture of the parfait was almost airy – a bonus in my book as I feel those kind of desserts are so summery.

This is definitely a place for romantic dates

Around 9pm there was live music – a guitar-player/singer who was very good. Live music is a lovely touch although we finished our meal too early to enjoy all the performance. Therefore I would advise booking a table a little later on a Friday night – or going on Monday or Wednesday, when opera is advertised!

Little Bay is a gem in Croydon and I would most definitely visit again. It’s great for family dinners and definitely one for romantic dates! When you combine good value, tasty food, decent portion sizes, an excellent venue and entertainment, this makes for a guaranteed good evening. I’m not surprised it’s a success, and noticed that Little Bay also has other branches located in trendy Brighton, Farringdon and Kilburn in North London.

The Croydon Citizen

The Croydon Citizen

The Croydon Citizen is a non-profit community news magazine for London's most populous borough.

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  • Anne Giles

    I have been there too, and sat at the back. Like you, too, we had the table d’hote menu, i.e. the menu with a fixed price for three courses. We hate opera intensely, so chose to go on a music free night with a group of people. That way we could hear ourselves speak!