Despite the name, The Crystal Palace Market is not somewhere to go and pick up groceries, but is a restaurant that prepares seasonal British food using market fresh ingredients.
Leaving East London is a rarity, however, with an extra day off work due to the bank holiday I decided it was about time to take the trip South and see our friend’s flat. The journey on the overground took much less time than I expected and after a quick 20 minutes we were at the end of the line in Crystal Palace.
After a morning climbing I was ravished, so we met our friends and went straight for food before the hanger set in. As with any trip to an unknown area I let the locals take the lead and we walked up the hill to The Crystal Palace Market.
Through the huge windows it was easy to see that this was a popular place. Waiting to be seated we were told it would be about half an hour before the 4 of us could get a table, but by a stroke of luck everyone seemed to leave at once and we were seated by the window within ten minutes.
The space was well lit due to its glass front and had modern incandescent lights to add ambience. The use of bare brick and tiled walls mixed with aged wood and dark green accents reminded a lot of some of the hip places in Brooklyn – modern yet welcoming. Though the decor was well thought out it was the open kitchen and large bar that took centre stage showing that this place was serious around food.
Flicking through the menu I was instantly drawn to page two, which was exclusively for burgers. The vegetarian option was generous slab of halloumi, shiitake mushrooms and sweet caramelised onion served on a perfectly golden brioche bun. The burger was well balanced and, though I was concerned by its seemingly small size, the richness of the dish meant it was just the right amount.
The burger was also served with a generous, lightly dressed side salad and thinly cut french fries, which were both great accompaniments. If you are eating here my tip would be not to skip out on the condiments, they are homemade and delicious.
Though I feel like no one would have been concerned if we stuck around all day, we decided that it was best to finish up our complimentary cucumber water and make our way to the nearby dinosaur park to try and walk off at least a few fries.
The Crystal Palace Market is a restaurant that serves up simple comforting food but with passion. The menus change daily and seasonal produce means that the freshness can be tasted in each dish. This is basic British food used in the best way, and if there are more places like this to explore outside of East London I may be persuaded to leave more often.
Have you guys got any favourite places to visit for quality comfort food?
The Crystal Palace Market
3-7 Church Rd,
London SE19 2TF