On Wednesday evening L and I went to BoxPark Croydon to peruse the board(s) of fare.
For those not familiar with the BoxPark concept, it consists of filling an area of otherwise-unused ground with a construction of black-painted shipping containers, which are converted into some form of retail opportunity. The original London BoxPark is a painfully cool "pop-up" lifestyle and fashion mall in Shoreditch, where each container serves to sell trainers, t-shirts, or other artistic designs, with a couple of food stalls and a bar stacked on top.
Croydon's BoxPark, next to East Croydon station, is a slightly different concept, specialising as a food court - rather than the stores opening onto the street, the containers are stacked to open onto an almost-square central roofed-over area, which is then filled with tables with benches, accompanied by gas patio heaters. One 'short' end has doors opening to the street, while the other has a bar area. Each 'long' side is lined with the narrow ends of the containers, with each retailer having one or two seven-foot-ish wide doorway to the seating area. Some have seating inside their area, but most simply provide food-service, using the seating in the main area - which also means that you can apply a 'portfolio menu' approach to your food selection.
(There are a couple of other eateries on the upper level, balconies that run along the long sides (and are also the primary street entrance), including the renowned Meat Liquor - but we headed straight to the main area this time.)
I opted for a baked potato from The Potato Project
- filled with mushrooms and spinach and topped with blue cheese and truffle oil. Which was delicious. Although in my pre-choice wander around the stalls, I'd also found myself rather tempted by the offerings at Arancina
, so, for a second course, I ordered a ricotta-and-spinach arancine (and, during the brief wait for it, I found myself ordering a slice of pizza, too). The excellent pizza slice turned out to be a good idea, as eating it gave time for the arancine to cool slightly - not much holds heat like an insulating layer of risotto. All washed down with a nice pint of Henry Weston's cider.
Meanwhile, L had opted for a tasty dish from Feed Me Primal
, and then followed that with a couple of tapas items from Donde Tapas
- tasty smooth Jamon Croquettes and some delicious Honey Glazed Chorizo (dripping in honey, and mild enough for my lightweight tastebuds).
So, overall, good food, and a location that with drifting smoke, and some holes in the roof for constant heavy rain to pour through, would make a good Bladerunner location.
No photos this time - I forgot to take my camera, but L took a snap. (And we'll probably be back again at some point.)( Photo below cut )