Boxpark Croydon is a place that I have had mixed thoughts on for so long and had, as a result of being uncomfortable about the concept, refused to step inside. That was until, just before its first birthday, friends suggested going there and being a terribly typical Brit I felt too awkward to object and went along.
The music was not too loud inside, unlike a few of the times when I have walked on by, and there were a number of empty tables with heaters in close proximity to keep warm with. It seemed like Sunday afternoon was one of the quieter moments in the week to go along but having not visited before it also seemed as if a bit of the initial buzz of the place was slowly starting to fade away.
My main issue with it is there are so many vendors and they all have their menus hidden within their own little container which makes it rather difficult for somebody like me to make a decision without getting all flustered. As a result I need guidance and to be told to keep calm several times but in this case I settled for my vegan pal telling me that What The Pitta has a good offering and I shuffled off to look at the menu and place an order.
I opted for one of their “meal deal” options; a wrap packed with vegan meat, salad, hummus and sauces galore, a box of baklava and a can of drink which came to £10. This would be a pretty hefty sum for a lunch time meal but as it was for dinner and included some form of dessert as well as a drink it was a price I was not too reluctant to pay.
After watching them make it, wrap it up and it ending up in my possession I was really looking forward to tucking into the burrito style wrap as it was clearly really packed with ingredients and delicious flavours. It being so packed with ingredients made it really quite difficult to eat, especially the further down the wrap became as structural integrity was starting to fail, and that is a bit of an uncomfortable feeling (even among friends!).
The flavours though were delightful, enhanced by the smells that were coming from within the warmed up foil casing, with a good gentle balance of seasoning and spices to compliment the freshness of the salad and enhance things like the ‘meat’ whilst counteracting the deep rich earthy tastes of the hummus. They asked all the obvious important questions you would expect when ordering a ‘kebab’ style dish like whether you want a huge rogue green chilli or not and if you want any extra sauces in there or not (I went for a squeeze of lemon and avoided the chilli quicker than you could imagine somebody saying “no thank you”).
Baklava proved to be a good choice as well as it was sticky, sweet and delightfully crispy too without being too much against the flavours and savoury delight that had just followed; in fact it managed to come across a bit like a palette cleanser and balanced everything out. By the end of ‘dessert’ I was certainly very content and incredibly full. It might look like an average sized wrap and not a huge box of baklava but looks can be incredibly deceiving!
This is a dish that I would consider purchasing again if I had the opportunity to but I am not sure that it would really usually hit the spot in terms of a dinner offering and even the wrap alone at £7.50 is too much for a sensible lunch purchase. If I happen to have had a big breakfast and end up wanting something around 5pm with no intention of rushing home to cook food any time soon then this would be among the things I consider purchasing from Boxpark again but given there are so many other vendors to work my way through it is quite unlikely there will be another vegan wrap in my hand from What The Pitta any time soon.
Have you eaten from any of What The Pitta’s venues? If so I would love to know what you think of their offerings and if you have any tips for eating them without it becoming close to a volcanic eruption of ingredients in the comments below!