Joanna’s is a Crystal Palace stalwart, known to locals as the place to go if you want a bit of West End glam without the journey. Wood panelling, whitewashed brick walls and a well-stocked wooden bar bring to mind an old-school New York vibe. Waiting staff are smartly turned out in black and white and there are linen tablecloths, starched napkins and polished cutlery, but the ambience is far from stuffy.
Brasserie classics such as steak frites and smoked haddock with poached egg are interspersed with favourites from further afield, including king prawn tempura, thai fish cakes and crispy duck salad. Although the menu does feel a little disparate, dishes are executed with aplomb. Baked cod with olive oil mash was cooked to perfection and beautifully complemented by a sweet red pepper compote. Onglet steak with fries and garlic butter was simple and satisfying.
Sticky toffee pudding also delivered, with a light sponge and finger-licking toffee sauce. Don’t expect to be blown away by innovation – Joanna’s popularity is down to excellent service and good-quality food in stylish surroundings.