Croydon was never the most glamorous of places to visit and it's not going to win the happiest place to live in the U.K. award but a change is slowly coming.
Has Croydon ever been good for food? To be honest I don't think it has but it has been given a lifeline- BoxPark.
I'm the first to admit, I was never a fan of the one in Shoreditch but for Croydon which is going through a big re-generation it needs something like this. Not only will it bring more Londoners to its doorstep but it's also a sign that things might just be on the up for area.
BoxPark is lively, fun and has character, something which has been missing in Croydon for a long, long time. A massive court is surrounded by an array of tasty, mouth watering restaurants and not to mention a bar below the staircase where the alcohol flows all day and all night.
To choose a place to eat proves difficult. Obviously there's MeatLiqour which takes centre stage (and rightly so) but I've had burgers from there a number of times and therefore it was an opportunity to check out some of the more smaller pop ups.
Bang Bang Hawker delivers the freshest and the tastiest Vietnamese dishes money can buy with it's instantly big bold flavours. Really simple stuff on a plate just like the Imperial spring rolls. Mega crispy on the outside and packed full of meat and vegetables on the inside. An order of those bad boys went down a treat.
We followed that up with two different type of mains. We had the lemongrass chargrilled pork on a bed of cold rice noodles (you can have hot rice as an alternative) which instantly hit the spot with crunchy Asian vegetables, crispy pork skin as well as sliced pork and finely sliced chillies. The other dish we tackled was the fragrant, punchy pho swimming with soft, fluffy tofu, rice noodles and packed with loads of cabbage. At this time of the year, there's nothing better.
Indi-go is probably a bit more of a hands on kind of place with it's no messing around Indian inspired street food. This place is an absolute dream with its portion sizes and variety of food on offer. The usual favourites, crispy onion bhajis and vegetable samosas (which look like they could explode any given moment) didn't disappoint and if that wasn't enough we also sank our teeth into a succulent grilled chicken tikka wraps and a huge dosa accompanied with a flavoursome daal.
There's now a good valid reason to travel to Croydon. Exciting times are on the horizon for the place and rumour has it there's going to be a Westfields but for now lets all enjoy having BoxPark, eat our weight worth in food and get drunk until the we can't stand no more.