BY PALOMA LACY
Last Thursday night, I had quite a challenge on my hands, or so I thought.
With just 45 minutes before curtain up at the Fairfield Halls, Croydon, and a yearning for a proper pre-show meal, I was nervous this would be doable in the time I had.
Thankfully, Boxpark Croydon has pretty much everything you could possibly want to eat and more, under one roof.
Most importantly, it can deliver a meal cooked from scratch in no time at all.
The line-up of restaurants has changed since I was last there, but I guess with so much competition (there are no fewer than 40 restaurants), some will inevitably fail to last the distance.
I was particularly sad to see my favourite Caribbean restaurant has closed but I’m reliably informed another is due to open soon.
Dining with a friend, we dropped in on Argentinian Grill, one of the newest additions to Boxpark Croydon.
The food is simple, cooking is minimal but the depth of flavour is astonishing, which only goes to show the importance of highest quality meat, lovingly marinated before cooking.
Again, the menu is kept simple, chargrilled meat, served with fries.
Steak and chips is a dish served internationally, but the Argentinian steak is widely considered to be some of the best around.
My friend wanted to see what all the fuss was about with Mixed Grill 1 – not hugely imaginative in its naming – but a juicier explosion of flavours you’ll be unlikely to find.
Quite how ½ spicy chorizo, ½ criollo chorizo, rump steak and fries can cost just shy of a tenner (£9.75) is beyond me, and this feast could easily have been priced up to £15, without anyone noticing.
The combination of succulent steak, well marinated, and sweet and smoky from the grill, with piquant chorizo, was something quite wonderful.
The juices landed nicely on to the chips, melding with chimichurri, a sauce synonymous with Argentina.
Just four ingredients added further oomph to an already exciting plate – parsley, garlic, rapeseed oil and oregano.
Fresh flavours combine to create a healthy accompaniment to any meat.
I ordered half chicken with rice and salad, and was surprised at the £8.50 price attached to such a serious amount of food.
Add another side and it would have easily provided a satisfying meal for two people.
The meat was juicy and packed with flavour.
There isn’t much available for veggies – be warned.
Chicken wings, lamb loin, pork loin and baby back ribs all looked good and with three chefs in a very small kitchen, you won’t have long to wait.
Everything comes with salad and a choice of rice or chips. There’s also a nice range of Panini, served with chips, which would make a good shared lunch for two.
Paloma was a guest of Argentinian Grill. Boxpark Croydon, Unit 12, 99 George Street, Croydon CR0 1LD.