Introduction to Basil and Grape, Croydon
Basil and Grape is an Italian Wine Bar and Restaurant. From paninis, cheese platters with different flavours, paninis, wines and cocktails from around the world, they have kept their promise with their use of adjective words on the website. In this post, I’m going to write the overall experience. One of the new addition to the Croydon scene, I had to review the atmosphere, the service, the food, the price and the conclusion below.
The location in Basil and Grape, Croydon
Set in the heart of Central Croydon, the location is in a perfect place. A short minute walk will take you to Basil and Grape if you are staying in one of the hotels nearby. If not, take the tram and stop at George Street, it will be right in front of you as you get off. Convenient and walking distance to major hotels. It’s also helpful you are staying near East Croydon Station, just walk to your right (ten minutes) from the station and you’re there. So the location is 10 out of 10 from me.
The atmosphere of Basil and Grape
When I booked my table, first impression was excellent. The room was dark, it was very intimate, there were leaves all over the ceilings and the pillars. The bar was located right as you entered the restaurant. There were staff members talking amongst themselves. You could sit in either the booths, next to the booths or by the windows. I didn’t mind where we sat as long as the atmosphere was good. There was also a room for wine tasting bookings and private parties at the back. The atmosphere is 10 out of 10 from me.
I opted for a cheese and tomato panini with a selection of cheese boards to go with it. Nice combo!
Pistachio and lemon cheesecake
I love a glass of large Rose. I opted for the Bardolino Chiaretto. It’s medium bodied with a hint of flowers and dry fruits. I’ve always loved fruity wines.
The service of Basil and Grape
The service was excellent. I couldn’t fault the service. As I booked my table with the waitress, I double checked again to make sure she booked it two days after, which she did. I then arrived with my friend that Saturday and the waitress greeted us at the door. Her name was Katie at that time and she was knowledgeable about the menu. She smiled and enjoyed herself. It’s as if she really loved her job. The wine, cheese, panini and pizza, she knew everything. On their website, it says that it has a “cosy and intimate atmosphere”. Well, they did keep to their words. It was cosy and intimate.
The bar in Basil and Grape
The intimate bar felt quite cosy and there were probably around six to seven chairs. There weren’t many people sitting at the bar at that time but I feel Basil and Grape is only known for its restaurant. I found out that they cooked their food at the back of the bar. I realised they didn’t need to cook full-on meals as they only baked pizzas and paninis. Everything else were cheese boards, salad and wine. I loved it.
Wow, the food was perfect. I couldn’t fault the food and had a selection of cheese. I tried to go vegan at that time. The Formaggi cheeseboard was to die for. It was served with Fig jam and balsamic glaze. On the menu it said that it tastes better with red wine but since Rose is my favourite drink, I opted for a sweet Rose.
I then had a Napoli (vegetarian panini) with a blend of tomatoes, melted mozzarella, olives and oregano. It was delicious. The panini was served really hot and I could taste the combination of the ingredients in my mouth.
For dessert, I opted for the Strazzanti cake; a pistachio and lemon cake combined together with a side of ice cream. I also tasted the two combinations together in my mouth and I must say, lemon and pistachio really do go together.
The price for two people were £55 and it was well worth the money for the quality of the dishes served to us. I wouldn’t visit regularly but I would come again for the service. If you do want to visit Basil and Grape, try the sharing board since I thought it was more cheaper than buying individual meals. It fills up your stomach just the same.
The restaurant is in the upper class scale considering its location in Croydon. The service was outstanding and we got what we paid for. I also felt the authenticity of the restaurant. Italian restaurant with authentic Italian food and wine. They had a selection of wines to choose from and I just had to choose my favourite, sweet Rose.
My friend recommended me this place and she said to try the wine. That was why she visited it, for the wine. Nothing else. I can’t imagine drinking anything else. For just a cheese board and a panini with salad for the evening as well as a large glass of Rose, it did fill me up and, regardless of the price, I enjoyed my time at Basil and Grape. I wouldn’t go regularly though.
So, out of all the restaurants mentioned, if you do want to go for the high end choice, I recommend Basil and Grape. The service and atmosphere was as it’s promised on the website and the price was well worth the money.