Croydon Social - Everybody Needs Good Neighbours

Croydon Social - 16/18 Elizabeth Street, Croydon SA 5008

Catching up with some friends mid-week, we decided to expand our horizons and try a place outside of our hood, which led us to Croydon Social.  Croydon Social is situated in the midst of a mostly residential area and on this cold Winter's night we spot it easily lit up amongst the dark and quiet street.  We enter a busy dining room and are lucky enough to get one of the last tables available, which is always a good sign on a cold Wednesday night.

Rosemary Baked Ricotta $14
A one page menu separated into small plates, pizzas, baked, salad and dessert categories, makes it easy for us to choose.  We decide to start with a couple of small plates to share.  The 'rosemary baked ricotta with pickled mushrooms' is a good start with the warm ricotta baked to a nice charred outer you could easily detect the rosemary throughout.  The tartness of the pickled mushrooms amongst the freshness of the cabbage, red onion and pepita salad was a great contrast to the richness of the ricotta.

House-made Pastrami $14
The 'house-made Pastrami with horseradish and pickles' (I think they like pickles as much as I do here!), were thin slices of pastrami sprinkled with shaved horseradish with mixed pickled vegetables on the side.  The juicy and tart pickled vegetables are a great accompaniment to the pastrami and the shaved horseradish as it provides the much needed moisture on the plate.  Maybe if the pastrami was sliced thicker it may have retained more of the meat juices but then the delicate thinness did pair well with the vegetables.  Full marks for making the pastrami in house.

SA Gulf Prawns Pizza $24
Next we tried a pizza topped with South Australian Gulf Prawns, capers, parsley, garlic and cherry tomatoes.  There is nothing better than the smell of pizza fresh out of the oven!  We devoured this one very quickly.  I (Amanda) love the thick charred edges with it's smokey flavours and great chew factor.  The rest of the pizza had a very thin base which made it tricky to eat with your hands, as it is a little sloppy in the centre, so knife and fork is required here.  The prawns were cooked beautifully retaining a juicy tender meat and the cherry tomatoes sweet and not too soft.  No capers seemed to make the cut atop our pizza today but we didn't miss them.  The menu states that the dough is made over two days to develop the flavour and leave you full but not bloated... this I can vouch is true!

Cabbage, Apple & Cannellini Bean Salad $12
Next we select the 'cabbage, apple, cannellini beans, apple cider and parmesan' salad to keep our palate fresh.  We all thoroughly enjoyed this salad, so much so my friends were taking extra note so they could re-create this salad at home.  The fresh crunchy cabbage combined with the sweetness of the green apple, the nuttiness of the cannellini beans, the sharpness of the parmesan and acidity of the apple cider vinegar combined to produce one delicious salad.  Lucky it was a generous serving size so we could all have ample servings of it.

Beef Ragu Gnocchi $19
One last dish to arrive was the 'Beef Ragu Gnocchi'.  After finishing our other dishes we alert our server that we are still waiting on the gnocchi we ordered.  The server returns to apologise for the missed course and informs us that they will bring it right out and at no charge for the mix up.  We are all touched by this wonderful service.  Unfortunately when the dish did arrive it is not at all what we were hoping for.  The gnocchi so soft and mushy from sitting in a dish of watery stock was even hard to pick up with a fork.  The freshly grated cheese on top would have been so more enticing and decadent if melted.  The beef ragu was tender but lacked seasoning and overall flavour.  Hopefully this was only because they tried to rush the dish out to us.

Overall Croydon Social is quite a handy eatery for the residents of Croydon and nearby neighbourhoods.  I can see the attraction to this cosy and homely place with the enchanting fresh pizza aromas wafting down the street, wine served casually in ordinary water glasses and service so friendly you just want to hug them as you leave.  I know if I lived in this neighbourhood I would be happy walking here for a dinner or weekend brunch to meet friends over some shared plates and pizza which I'm sure is made with neighbourly love.

Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly: Yes.
Child Friendly: The venue itself is child friendly but no dedicated kid's menu.  Maybe call ahead to see if they take custom child pizza orders.

Ambiance: 4/5 - A warm homely feel due to the simple furniture and plentiful chatter in the full venue.
Service: 4/5 - Friendly, courteous and willing to please.
Food: 7/10 - Apart from the gnocchi dish we enjoyed our simple but flavoursome dinner.
In total OTCB gives Croydon Social 15/20 chops On The Chopping Board.

Croydon Social Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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