Restaurant Review: Aqua, South End, Croydon
Take two talented five-star trained chefs, add bags of enthusiasm plus a passion for cooking, and you get the ingredients for this brand new brasserie.
The restaurant is newly decorated with clean contemporary lines, spacious seating and air conditioning and provides an elegant but welcoming atmosphere. The menu features a good selection of dishes including some familiar favourites. A well-balanced wine list offers an interesting range from highly palatable house wines to special reserve and Champagne.
To start, after much deliberation, I chose the pan-seared scallops which arrived perfectly cooked, served in a scallop shell with asparagus and finely shredded leeks and a well-seasoned sauce.
These were simply delicious and according to my husband his choice of tiger prawns also hit the top note. Beautifully presented, they were reported to be full of flavour from the chilli, garlic and ginger sauce.
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From the meat section of the menu we chose our main courses of medallions of fillet beef and calves' liver.
Beef fillet medallions were very tender and tasty, and served with buttered spinach, creamy mash and a peppercorn sauce made a memorable main course.
However the undoubted star on our table was the succulent pan-fried calves' liver with the crispiest of smoked bacon . This was served with a rich aromatic sage shallot jus and creamy mash and represented in my view a step up in local dining. Without question the best food I've had while reviewing and a total joy to eat.
We learned in the short time the restaurant has been open, customers have already returned for this particular dish.
Desserts are all made in-house and the sticky toffee pudding with vanilla pod ice cream lived up to our expectations with a moist sponge topped with a sauce I will term as 'divine'.
The menu caters for all tastes with a range of steaks, fish and vegetarian dishes.
A special opening offers runs until December 1 giving 25 per cent off your total bill.
We were thrilled with our visit to Croydon's new restaurant and recommend it wholeheartedly as worth making the short journey up the road to South End for.
At a glance...
Reviewer's rating: Four stars
Price: £49.15 for two with wine, including 25% off opening discount
Service: Friendly, helpful
Value for money: Very good
Parking: On the road after 6pm or Spices Yard
Disabled access: Yes
Verdict: Another great restaurant in South End
33 South End
Tel: 020 8667 0070
Photos: Paul Martyniuk