Little Bay, Croydon

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This is a long process, so please bear with will likely take until the end of 2024 until all images are reviewed and displayed correctly. Sigh.

Well, I bet you thought this would never happen. That Lord Gravy would ever step foot in Croydon again. But here I am…or was…at Little Bay in Croydon.

Who can resist such charms?

Affectionately now possibly known as the Hull of London (except for a huge lack of mud, river and spiceheads aggressively questioning the contents of your wallet) – my previous visit to the Hull of London wasn’t so auspicious. Remember Treehouse?

I only went there as The Times were looking for their next great food critic – so I had to enter the competition. There I was, expecting to win, expecting to be presented at awards ceremonies (albeit with a large gravy boat over my head to keep my anonymity) – yet I had the most awful roast dinner in some time to write about.

No, I didn’t even hear back from the judges. One of the judges was fucking Jeremy Clarkson – you’d have thought that he’d understand my talent? 3 years later, I’m still an undiscovered yet wondrously talented writer. Though at least my boss in my real job rates me. Over-rates me, perhaps.

So Little Bay is kind of lucky that their natural comparison is to a venue possibly designed by my imaginary future alcoholic auntie-in-law’s garish fantasies.

Then again…do you want to see inside Little Bay?

Croy Croy

Inside Little Bay, Croydon

What is it about Croydon and design aesthetics? That should be in italics, really. What is it about Croydon and design aesthetics?

Then we need to talk about price – £12.95 for rib-eye of beef, or £10.95 for pork loin. In 2022.

In many ways, Little Bay is stuck in some kind of time warp – ridiculously cheap food and ridiculous decoration. They used to have a few restaurants but from what I can tell (their website doesn’t help), the only ones left are in Croydon and Belgrade. Yes, Belgrade, that well-known place to open a branch of your restaurant – and I very nearly went to it years ago when I was in Serbia. And yes, they do a Sunday roast in their Belgrade restaurant.

According to their website (who’s design is most unsurprisingly ancient), their owner is from ex-Yugoslavia so maybe there is a reason.

The beer choice was stuck in a time-warp too – I ended up with a Peroni as a “best” option, albeit at £3.50 (ish). Wine was better, we had a rather nice Malbec – priced under £20 too.

And speaking of those stuck in a time-warp, may I use this moment to wish Vladimir Vladimirovich Cuntbasket Putin a belated happy birthday:

NAFO celebrating Putin's 70th birthday with a burning Kirch Bridge

May it be your last birthday not spent in jail. BASTARD.

Roast roast

On the bright side, Putin has never been so close to being overthrown in a coup, the Iranian dictatorship is under pressure and the noose is slowly tightening around that attempted election thief, Trump.

And our roast dinners took around 10-15 minutes to arrive:

Little Bay, Croydon, Beef Roast Dinner

Starting with the things that you cannot see, but first photograph is of how they presented it, so don’t blame me if Little Bay don’t want you to see the vegetables.

The carrots were really nicely roasted – soft but not charred, with some flecks of pepper.

Then came the green beans, which were so boring it was like they’d attended a Theresa Coffey speech:

But hey, the subject was the NHS – hardly something of relevance. Not much else to say about the green beans themselves, just very OK whatever.

Then the broccoli was too al dente (raw) and not really enjoyable to eat. It needed another minute or two of steaming, or however they’d chosen to not quite cook it.

Little Bay, Croydon, Beef Sunday Roast

Spud spud

Three roast potatoes supplied, as per usual. They looked like they might be crispy on the outside – alas they weren’t. Inside they were soft enough but a tad on the grey side, and we couldn’t quite understand the taste – perhaps over-used vegetable oil – there was something odd tasting about them.

So the Yorkshire pudding had a delightful soft crack to it and was almost melt-in-your-mouth. Unexpected hey – but this was an excellent yorkie.

Alas, the beef rib-eye was way overcooked – had my mother left the Hull of Hull to do Little Bay’s roast beef? Actually, technically my parents live in a village just outside of Hull. Yeah, they’re posh. No, the Bank Of Mum And Dad is not going to help me afford a grotty flat in Croydon.

My accomplices actually gave me two orders – firstly I must vote Labour in the next election. Secondly I must move to Croydon. It was quite forceful on both accounts. Feels like some mental boundaries that I’m not quite sure I’m ready to jump over, despite really wanting to be able to do last week’s washing up in hot-pants and nipple tassels without getting strange looks. Oh and wanting these moronic fuckwits out.

Don’t worry, your pension is fine. Absolutely no problems. By the way, oldies, now might be a good time to stop being the anti-growth coalition and allow some house-building. Just saying, but your pension is totally safe. Totally.

Anyway, the beef. It was over-cooked, it was quite chewy in places too – the pork loin might have been a better choice. But it wasn’t the worst beef ever – and you know, £12.95.

Finally, and rather weirdly, the gravy was excellent. Thick and really quite tasty, albeit with a very slight sweet edge to it. Proper gravy, folks. Proper gravy.

A roast dinner review of Little Bay in Croy Croy. Sorry, Croydon. Let’s move there?

Unlike my doomed visit to Treehouse some years ago, some of this roast dinner was really good. Some of it wasn’t so good.

A fishtank in Little Bay, Croydon

No, I’ve no idea either. Real fish too.

Little Bay is a strange yet charming place, and this was an attempt at a mother’s home-cooked kind of roast dinner. The gravy was weirdly excellent, the roasted carrots really good and the Yorkshire pudding surprisingly delectable.

Yet the rest of the vegetables were bland, the beef was overcooked and somewhat chewy, plus the roast potatoes were odd. Either they did things really well – or not really at all.

Scores around the table were a 7.03, 2x 7.00’s, a 6.80 and a delightfully awkward 5.637 – though it should be known the latter would give a 5 for average, whereas the rest of us are more on the football player scoring scheme.

My score is a 6.71 out of 10. An unusual, quirky venue, a cheap roast dinner, nice service and some excellent gravy. Croydon though.

I won’t be back next week as I’m going to actual Hull to visit my anti-growth coalition, and the week after a friend is insisting on celebrating her 40th birthday with a roast dinner…at a place that I’ve already reviewed. HOW SELFISH. Maybe I’ll find a way to bring you a new review…or maybe you’ll just end up with some kind of puff-piece of regurgitated crap.

A British Gas model boat in Little Bay, Croydon
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Little Bay, Croydon

Station: Croydon South

Tube Lines: National Rail

Fare Zone: Zone 5

Price: £12.95

Rating: 6.71

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Loved & Loathed

Loved: Excellent gravy - thick. Nicely roasted carrots and the yorkie was satisfying. Also a curiously quirky restaurant.

Loathed: Beef was over-cooked, green veg was dull and roast potatoes tasted weird.

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