This bustling all-day restaurant, not to be confused with Crystal Palace Food Market, has become part of the critical mass that is turning Crystal Palace into a food destination (others notable venues include the branch of the Blackbird Bakery, and the upmarket cheese, wine and beer shop Good Taste Food & Drink. The look of this new-style brasserie is bang on-trend with bare-brick walls, white Brooklyn-esque tiling, wooden floors, the de rigueur open kitchen and a large central shared table.
The vibe is friendly and welcoming, and the menu simple: eggs and omelettes for breakfast, a selection of burgers at lunchtime and, at dinner, the big Josper grill that takes pride of place in the kitchen makes light work of the proteins. The British and ethical origins of gurnard, salmon, whiting and wild sea bass (all displayed on ice) are proclaimed on the menu, and steaks are 28-day matured and prime British. Fish, fowl and meat main courses are served with chips and a sauce (including excellent own-made ketchup), while side dishes – salad, potato gratin and the like – cost about £3.
Our roast gurnard was a touch on the dry side owing to the searing heat of the Josper grill, but our starter of padrón peppers benefited from the quick, dry heat. A veggie dish of roast sweet potato and butternut squash, with its smoky, charred edge, was spot-on. There’s a decent range of wines and classic cocktails while desserts are of the crowd-pleasing sort: red velvet cake, chocolate fondant, and ice cream.
A butcher and fishmonger are due to open on the next-door premises in 2014, and a second site in Fulham is planned.