A splash of bright paint, vibrant sun-drenched pictures and a clutch of Sardinian knicks-knacks don’t quite match up to the slick decor of the new wave of Crystal Palace restaurants, but this local eaterie has allure where it counts. The staff are immediately welcoming and enthusiastic about their food – and for good reason. A caponata starter was surprisingly delicate for a predominantly onion-based dish and didn’t overpower the creamy buffalo mozzarella it was served alongside.
Sardinian fish stew was laden with shellfish and seafood: a hearty feast served in a subtle oregano-flecked tomato broth. Pasta with sausage ragu was again understated, but in the best way – satisfying yet not in the least heavy.
Mediterranea is a great venue for families too, with a warm approach to children and pizzas from the wood-fired oven have a light, crisp crust, and again avoid the flavour explosions that often mask a lack of culinary skill. The restaurant is sometimes not as busy as it should be; we hope it continues to thrive, as this is somewhere to return to time and again.