The Exhibition Rooms continues to offer a winning combination bang in the heart of the Crystal Palace triangle. It’s a venue that can satisfy a number of criteria depending on when you go. For lunch, this leafy brasserie with lime green walls and light streaming in through sash windows is a relaxed choice for a smart yet unpretentious meal.
In the evening, with large glittering chandeliers and soft lighting, it takes on a cosy, intimate feel. The downstairs bar, all leather and velvet in reds and purples, has a DJ at the weekends and a decked beer garden. On our lunchtime visit, the food was as reliable as ever, with a menu offering smart brasserie dishes alongside gastro favourites. Tender duck with a rich jus and crisp rösti was skilfully prepared and well presented. No less effort was given to the ‘signature’ burger, a satisfying stack laden with quality beef and accompanied by a tangy onion chutney.
Sticky toffee pudding, complete with retro spun-sugar basket, was equally competent. Service was friendly and prompt, and the comprehensive drinks list runs from great cocktails to a global choice of wines, with plenty by the glass. It’s not the place for cutting-edge cuisine, but it’s a reliable choice for well prepared meals with classic flavour combinations.