Friday, 12 August 2016

The Crystal Palace Market - Restaurant, Cafe, and Bar

Back in 2013, the Triangle was abuzz with the news that a whole block on a moribund stretch of Church Road, was being done up, to house not only a new restaurant, but also an eagerly awaited butcher and fishmonger. The restaurant, serving simply grilled meat and fish, was an instant hit, but sadly the butcher and fishmonger, of which I was a big fan, struggled to pay its way, and closed earlier this year. Fortunately the windows didn't stay dark for long, before owners, Sergei and Anatoly reopened the space as a bar specialising in wine and oysters. As General Manager, Stuart Oldershaw explains to me, the look of the place is down to the creative partner, Anatoly, and with the new bar, he has retained the feel of the former shop in its new incarnation.
I was disappointed not to have got round to photographing the butcher and fishmonger, so I'm making up for it now by shooting not only the Triangle's cool new bar, but the original restaurant too. And as I write, on what is a glorious friday afternoon, I think a chilled white wine and half a dozen oysters would go down pretty well.

The Restaurant

Exterior: in my opinion, the best building on the Triangle

The Wine Bar

General Manager: Stuart Oldershaw
Wine Bar manager: Fabien Joly

3-7 Church Road
020 3475 7080

Thursday, 21 July 2016


The restaurant at 11 Central Hill must be the largest in the area, the vast interior capable of seating well over 100 people. The premises have changed hands several times in recent years, having last been a Mexican restaurant. It was recently reopened by Kurdish brothers, Yuksel, and Serdal Akpinar. 'Dem' simply means relax in Kurdish, and while Kurdish restaurants are often referred to as Turkish, I guess to simplify things for us geographically challenged Brits, the brothers proudly proclaim that Kurdish cuisine is superior.
Having spent the previous 15 years running a restaurant on Shaftesbury Avenue, Yuksel moved to Gipsy Hill and opened the new restaurant all on the same day. And he's enjoying the change of scene; rather than feeding the tourists, as was the case in the West End, he enjoys having friendly locals coming in on a regular basis.
With the photography and interview done, Yuksel showed me to a table and generously provided me with an ample meal, all of which was exceptionally good. So if you're looking for the perfect place to relax over a long summer evening meal, try Dem!

Yuksel & Serdal 

11 Central Hill

Thursday, 30 June 2016


I've heard a few people asking whether we really need another cafe on the Triangle, but as long as each offers something different, why not? Canadian, Derek Taylor certainly believes that, and spent months of hard work,  in preparation for the opening of his delightful cafe at No.1 Westow Street, formerly the home of Popiel cycles. The name, Dalhousie, in case you were wondering, was the name of the street, Derek lived on, back in Toronto. During a career,  first in finance, and then in hospitality and events planning, Derek maintained a passion for baking cakes, something he inherited, along with all the recipes, from his grandmother. Then, only a year or two ago, luck and love brought him to London, and luckily for us, to Crystal Palace.
As was Derek's intention, the cafe looks and feels very different from other local establishments. The idea is that everything about it makes you feel like it's a treat. It starts of course with the delicious cakes and Union Roasted coffee, but then there's the Digby's English sparkling wine, the chocolates, the flowers, and the elegant interior on two floors. I particularly love the 'zigzag' texture of the counter, inspired by corrugated take-away cup holders! So rather than trying to compete locally, Derek, with the help of his young and friendly team, is contributing something different to the area, which has been an instant hit, and despite his own comparatively recent arrival, he already feels committed to Crystal Palace.

Chocolates by Audrey's Chocolates

Samples of delicious sticky toffee cake

Bread from the Bread Factory

Derek Taylor

1 Westow Street