28 South End
Phone:- 0208 688 3839
It was an unseasonably wet August evening in Croydon. Eva and I were in the pub, and did not fancy wandering around too far to find a place to eat; so we dashed to the nearby Bistro Mania.
A continental café and restaurant, with live music.
Bistro Mania was a small restaurant; cheerfully decorated with white walls, pine floors and a yellow ceiling with rotating fans.
The green clothed tables were decorated with fresh flowers, and the walls with paintings and a small alcove housing a large plant.
The live music on offer was a robust one-man act, harking back to the 1960’s and 70’s. I suspect that it appealed to a certain generation, who enjoy listening to songs such as “My way” being belted out.
Although the restaurant was not very busy, the atmosphere was jolly.
The menu was an eclectic mixture of Tapas, Italian and French.
The staff were friendly and efficient. We were offered a bowl of excellent garlic olives to munch on, whilst we perused the menu.
I chose the potato tortilla to start with. This was a good sized omelette, which had been freshly cooked, containing potato and onion. It was very pleasant, and a good start to the meal.
I then opted for the lamb cutlets in rich red wine and herb sauce for my main course. Although the three cutlets were tender, and properly cooked, I felt that they were a somewhat miniscule size. I could have eaten six of that size, easily; that being said, maybe I am just too greedy!
The sauce was full bodied and pleasant, not overpowering.
The dish came with sauté potatoes and vegetables, which were agreeable; but nothing special.
Eva started with tiger prawns in a tomato and garlic sauce. Both the prawns and the sauce had an excellent flavour.
However, the prawns were served in their shells in the hot sauce. This made them very difficult and messy to eat.
Eva then opted for the veal in a white wine and sage sauce for her main course. The veal was cut thin, and served with ham and a very fresh piquant white wine sauce with fresh sage. It was a well made and presented dish.
The meal, which included a bottle of Pinot Grigio and liqueurs, came to £57 before service.
If you like live music, then pop along; it’s a laugh.