Perhaps unsurprisingly, Croma traces its heritage back to a branch of Pizza Express in the city centre. There’s now three branches in the suburbs of which the Didsbury one is the most recent (and that’s been open for a decade, so it looks like the owners are not aiming for world domination). And, on a lovely day like today, it’s one of relatively few restaurants in the area which has a terrace. Perfect – we went for lunch – our first outing since contracting Covid at the end of May.
It’s a mainly Anglicised Italian menu, majoring on pizza. And expect some very Anglicised toppings which would have no place on a pizza in Italy. Or in most pizza places in the UK run by Italians. Yes, Tandoori Chicken and Peking Duck with Hoisin, I’m looking at you. But there are enough Italianesque toppings to order and feel you’re getting something of the “real thing”.
So, there’s a Siciliana with ham, artichokes, olives, garlic and anchovies. There’s fior di latte and a decent tomato sauce. And a mushroom one that uses a mix of field mushrooms, oyster and Paris Brown, enhanced with garlic, rosemary and a little drizzle of truffle oil. They make a “thing” of their base – double fermented sourdough. Tasty and perfectly fine, although a few seconds more in the oven would have crisped up the crust a bit more.
Tiramisu is a modern classic and this was a decent version – there’s the flavour of coffee and booze and it wasn’t overly sweet. Lemon sorbet was everything you want – cold and very citrussy.