My Tuesday night did not go quite as I would have liked, this week. I spent hours trying to get to the amazing Paramount Bar for a Jing Tea masterclass (more on that later), but alas London Transport failed me and due to signalling faults or something equally as tedious, I had to turn back and take a long bus ride right back home… Luckily, after an arduous round trip home, Alex offered to pick up his grumpy and frustrated fiancee and take her to dinner at The Crystal Palace Market.
I always thought that this eaterie was quite oddly-named because there is a quite popular food market in the area named The Crystal Palace Food Market. Perhaps an alternative would have been less confusing to web searchers. Anyway, the restaurant opened back in May and their concept is to offer ‘uncomplicated, delicious & locally sourced food’ – Right up my street! Being a Tuesday night, it wasn’t heaving with customers, but we’re told that it often gets pretty booked up over the weekend, so if you intend on heading there I’d give them a call first.
They seem to have put a great deal of love and care into the interior design of the restaurant, with tiled and exposed brick walls and the perfect lighting, style is definitely key here. Unlike a lot of restaurants in London, there is plenty of space around your table so you are not sitting on top of other diners, and the music of choice was perfect for a relaxing meal. Unfortunately, we were a little chilly so I wore my coat on-and-off throughout the meal, but I presume that if the place is busier then this wouldn’t be a problem.
So, down to the nitty gritty. How was the food you ask? Well, we headed straight for the mains – even though the starters did look pretty tempting, it was quite late into the night and being a weekday we decided not to splurge. Alex opted for the rib-eye steak (£20), which came with a side of the most delicious fries and salad, which was dressed to perfection. He did seem to be a little baffled by the additional £1.50 charge for the chance to splash some sauce over the steak, but ended up ordering a horseradish sauce and was more than content with the delicious flavours.
My choice of main was Whole Plaice (£14), which was cooked in a charcoal oven and also came with fries and a side salad . Every mouthful was exquisite, as it was cooked to perfection. We both shared a side of grilled mixed vegetables and actually ate aubergine that was included without any problem, even though we usually try very hard to avoid it most other times! We each had a glass of wine from the pretty extensive and not overly-priced drinks menu and were more than happy with our choices, which were glasses of the cheaper red and white. No nasty vinegar tastes here!
We decided to push on through, for dessert… Well, why not!? In the past Alex has said that I make the best carrot cake (ever) and I’m sure he was trying hard to hide the fact that The Crystal Palace Market Carrot & Orange Cake (£3.60) was probably en par with my own. He loved it! Moist and flavoursome as any good carrot cake should be. I wasn’t so bowled over by my Hazelnut and caramel cheesecake (£4.50), but it was pleasant enough and was a massive portion. They offer quite a cake heavy dessert menu and I’d love to see some other types of desserts make it onto the list in future, being someone who is not meant to eat wheat.
So, would we visit again… That’s a big fat yes! The service was good and the food was great value for what you got. We were chatting to Toli – one of the owners – at the end of our meal and he was telling us all about their new Butcher and Fishmonger which is due to open soon. I was really impressed with his passion for the community, the food and his establishment and look forward to seeing things progress.
Excuse these awful pictures. Both Alex and I had zero phone battery left and it’s the best we could get. Bad blogger.
Head on over to their Facebook page for some much more appetizing pics.
The Crystal Palace Market offers brunch and burgers during the day and the evening menu consits of Fish and meat.
See the full menu HERE
3-7 CHURCH ROAD
LONDON SE19 2TF
0203 475 7080