Shadi Bakery, CR0 2FF
It's a small shop, with two tandoors at the front. If you're just here for plain naan (white or brown), you queue up at the front and then the baker asks how many you want (in multiples of three) and makes them fresh for you from balls of dough. Beyond this are a couple of tables and a counter selling previously-packed naan (thicker and softer than the freshly made ones) as well as flavoured naans such as egg naan, keema naan, and cheese naan.
At the back along a short corridor and down some steps is a restaurant area where various food such as soup, lamb, and rice is on offer. The decor in the restaurant area is rather nicer than in the shop, with wood-effect vinyl and wallpaper as well as ornate coloured lampshades. According to a member of staff in January 2020, the naan shop and restaurant area are separate businesses but both operate under the same name.
Kake first visited in November 2015 for a takeaway keema naan, which in this context meant a plain naan spread with a minced lamb mixture and some lettuce, and then rolled up. It was OK, though the meat wasn't particularly high-quality and I wished they'd had more interesting salad.
secretlondon visited just for naan one Monday evening in November 2016. The naan were three for £1, and were put straight into a carrier bag, not wrapped in any way. I ate one while waiting for a train, and it was absolutely fine.
Kake visited again in June 2017, after they'd expanded their menu to include curries and things. It was a Saturday afternoon, and although there was just one other eat-in customer, there were lots of people in and out for takeaway naan. No music was playing, but there was plenty of conversation going on, as much between the staff as between the customers.
I'd wanted to try their lentil soup, but they were out, so instead I had the chickpeas (£3) along with an egg naan (£2) photo of both. The chickpeas were pretty tasty; a good size, and cooked to a soft texture. There was lamb in it, too, which I hadn't expected, but this was also good, flavourful and tender enough to cut with a spoon. A plain naan was included with the chickpeas, which they hadn't warned me about when I ordered, but there was no problem wrapping it up for me to take away. The egg naan was hot and crisp, freshly prepared with plenty of egg.
In March 2019, Kake tried the kubba (meat-stuffed rice dumplings; £5 for three including salad and one naan) photo. The exterior was crisp (although perhaps a little greasier than ideal), and the rice was soft and in good proportion with the stuffing. The meat of the stuffing was a little gristly, but I enjoyed the occasional hit of sweetness from plump yellow sultanas, and appreciated the flecks of chopped spinach.
Accessibility: A step to get in to the front part (where naan are sold). Several more steps to the seating area at the back.
- Photo of the menu as of May 2017
- History of the site
- Completists' Guide to Croydon entry
- Video of them making naan
- Longer video including interviews with the staff