23rd November 2016 6pm
Many moons ago I used to frequent the Manchester branch of Croma on a pretty regular basis, with the tandoori chicken salad being a favourite. Having taken so long to visit since living in Edinburgh, I wasn’t sure if it would resemble my memories. Situated on Lothian Road, this branch of Croma is attached to the Odeon, which creates a strange dining space as there are stairs down to the cinema in the middle of the restaurant. However, as we were heading to the cinema anyway, it was the perfect location. Croma offers a very reasonable pre-theatre menu which offers a starter, main and drink (including some alcoholic options) for £11.95. You can also add on a dessert for £3. Whilst the starters are limited, a great deal of the mains are available to choose from. We decided to go for this option (even though I was pleased to see the tandoori chicken salad was still there). So two of went for garlic bread and one for garlic dough balls. All three of us went for pizza for our mains; I chose chilli salsaccia, my friend’s went for tandoori chicken and the americana.
The starters arrived promptly. The garlic bread was a largish oval shape but light and puffy. The garlic flavour was spot on. The dough balls were also of a good standard and plentiful, with about eight on the plate.
The pizzas arrived and were just the right size. Mine had an intriguing chilli jam base. It took my mind a few bites to get over the confusion of the taste over expectation of tomato but it was really good. The sausage was herby and great in flavour. The red onion and peppers have a nice balancing element to the pizza. It was very satisfying. The tandoori chicken pizza was visually appealing. With a lime wedge, the flavour had a nice tingle. It’s good to see that Croma didn’t shy away from the spices. The Americana was also going down a treat. The only complaint was that it might have been useful to have the pizza pre-sliced or provide a pizza cutter and it’s a bit tiring on the hands with a knife and fork.
We enjoyed our time at Croma. One of my dining companions felt it was a little similar to Pizza Express but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Croma is in a good location and has a solid offering.
Food – 8/10
Service – 8/10
Atmosphere – 7/10
Value – 9/10
Overall – 32/40
Would I eat here again? Yes.
Cost £36 for three pre-theatre two course meals