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Bagattis - Italian - South Croydon

If you've ever tried cooking yourself an Italian meal, you'll have encountered their love of fresh ingredients such as tomatoes, onions, basil, rosemary and oregano, cooked with mouth-watering ingredients such as extra virgin olive oil and parmesan cheese.  You'll also have found out how complicated and time-consuming some of these recipes can be, particularly for the novice.
 

It was with this is in mind that we first tried Bagattis one of the most popular Italian restaurants in South Croydon's 'restaurant strip' along the Brighton Road.  Entering the restaurant you're first struck by the comfortably low lighting and the politeness of the staff - real Italians by the way.  In fact, looking into the restaurant, (away from the delights of the Brighton Road), you're almost transported to Italy itself, but without the air-fare of course.

 

Complimentary starters are a bowl of delicious spicy olives with fine cuts of sweet pepper, which seemed to disappear pretty quickly over a bottle of surprisingly good Frascati, whilst waiting for the main course to arrive.  Looking around the restaurant it's pleasantly reassuring to note you have full view of the clean bright kitchen area.  The restaurant seems bigger than it really is due to one wall being fully mirrored, which gives a feeling of airy spaciousness, but could be slightly challenging if faced with an image of oneself fighting with a mouthful of spaghetti!

When the main course arrives we're not disappointed.  We've gone for a sword-fish steak with new potatoes, tomatoes, olives, and a piquant sauce on a bed of fresh Italian salad (pictured foreground).  The other dish is pasta with a sauce made from Palma ham, Pancetta, olives, tomatoes and all the mysterious herbs that the Italians use to infuse their recipes with such wonderful flavours.  The meal is so tasty it's difficult to slow down and give the tastes the respect they deserve.  The fresh clean Frascati cuts across your palette, getting you ready to enjoy the tastes of your meal all over again.  Chatting with the waiter we find that most, if not all of the ingredients are flown directly over from Italy, (he grates us fresh Parmesan from a large slab with Italian trademarks adorning the rind).  This adds hugely to the authenticity of Bagattis and the overall experience.

This is where you're reminded of the difference from the do-it-yourself experiences you may have had.  These people really know what they're doing, so much so that you're left wondering what the magic ingredient is to the cooking that makes a visit to Bagattis so worth while.  The meal is finished with coffees and liqueurs from the well stocked bar (above), but no pressure is brought to bear for a timely departure even though Bagattis is often very busy.  In true Italian style, a meal is a social event and you're allowed to relax, enjoy your meal and savour the experience in the way they do it in Rome.  For around 15.00 per person a trip to Bagattis doesn't even have to be saved for a special occasion, but Croyweb's sure it will turn into one once you arrive....

Bagattis - Four Stars
56-58 South End
Croydon

Reservations 020 8686 9649

 
     

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