The name might not be particularly snappy, but the Wine and Oyster Bar at Crystal Palace Market is a buzzy place to be. It opened in response to local demand for a decent spot to knock back some better-than-average plonk, and thirsty punters will surely be satisfied with the two intimate, dimly lit rooms, each clad in bare brick and white tiles.
The oysters were fresh and juicy, given a zingy kick with a lively tomato salsa, while the lemon tuna tartare packed a lot of flavour into each silky mouthful, but the cheese and charcuterie board turned out to be dreadfully stingy. It got worse: a goat’s cheese croquette was unremarkable and the carpaccio of seabass was overwhelmed by truffle oil.
Treat the menu as a selection of nibbles to accompany the vino and you won’t find it a problem, but you’ll do well not to get frustrated with the service, which is so relaxed it’s practically non-existent. With this in mind, we recommend going for a cosy corner spot rather than a stool at the bar, and just sticking with what’s on the sign: wine and oysters.