Croma is heavily populated by adults but it's the kids who dominate. Go there between five and seven and you'll be forgiven for thinking it's run by kids. On a recent trip I was happy to witness a kid, scampering about, weaving in and out of tables and crawling under chairs like an insane cockroach. His brothers and sisters and friends cheered him on. It made me glad to be there. But then he proceeded to eat his chocolate cake by smearing it all over his face and I thought, this is worse than watching a baby eat a banana. Sat next to him and looking rather startled was a young girl, hair plaited down to her bum, smile graced by a lack of front teeth, freckles so dense she looked sunburnt. I'm sure she must have said something horrible to the young, disgusting boy for he turned to her and sprayed ice cream all over the flower in her hair. Crying, ladies and gentlemen, followed. Plenty of it. Not just from the plaited girl but from her companion who took it upon herself to beat the boy over the head with some leftover pizza before rubbing the rest in his face to create a chocolaty, tomatoey, mask.
Everybody continued about their business as if nothing much was up. Some people were incredibly snooty about it: noses were pointed towards the ceiling; discussions continued about the fabulous quality of the pizzas (which is ridiculous in itself); and men waxed lyrical about the offside rule. My companion jabbered on about something or other: Our forthcoming wedding; the shelving issue in the small bedroom; which plants to put in the front garden; and whether or not the fart I was about to let rip, no doubt discovered by my extremely bizarre facial expression, was really appropriate. I decided it was, released a couple of pellets and said, "should we order dear?"
The Pizzas are unspectacular to say the least. Some of them have names riddled with exotica. Names that promise so much but fail to deliver, flavour wise. How can this be possible? How can bread, tomato, and toppings fail to taste of anything? Yet it happens in pizza parlours all the time. The people who run Croma left Pizza Express to run their own business. They should have stayed there. Or, they should have concentrated on their salad and pasta dishes which are perfect and leave one feeling satisfied. The kids think so; the kids know so. Wherever you look, there are kids who have left their pizzas. Yet the salad and pasta dishes have been consumed with relish. However, look at the adults and they appear quite content. Their plates are empty; their faces are smiling; their chatter is considered and relaxed. Croma is certainly a place where one can feel comfortable. I just wish they'd sort out their pizzas.