“ Address: 69 - 71 Westow Hill / Crystal Palace / London / SE19 1TX / England / Tel: 020 8761 1175. „
This restaurant was the winner of Time Out's "Best New Local Restaurant" Award. It sits at a site where many restaurants have tried and failed, but it seems that The Exhibition Rooms are here to stay.
The exterior is smart and clean, and the interior is airy and light. Thankfully there are large spaces between tables so you never feel crowded, and don't feel like your conversation is being shared with surrounding tables.
This restaurant is popular with locals and those from slightly further afield. With plenty of offers they attract customers throughout the week but are notably busier at the weekends.
Offers here include:
Gourmet Burger and Mussel Monday £9.95 including a glass of wine or beer
Mon - Sat 12-4pm any 2 courses for £10
Steak Night Tuesdays for £10.95
6-8pm Happy Hour 2 for 1 cocktails
My friend and I decided to test out the Gourmet Burgers offer on Monday night and were not disappointed. For £9.95 you can choose one of three burgers (classic with cheese, bacon and a mushroom; one with goats cheese, and a chicken burger - sorry veggies they seem to have forgotten you). The burgers are a very decent size, and come served in a bun with a small side salad (complete with gherkins), a small tub of tomato relish, and chips. They also bring out small tubs of tomato ketchup and a chilli mayonnaise too. Both very delicious.
The burgers were cooked to your liking. I chose well-done which I confess was a mistake on my part, I should have asked for medium, but that was my fault. This place cooks it how you ask for it. It's not one of those restaurants that takes your order as well-done and serves it medium, they will do it how you ask for it.
Included in the offer price was a glass of wine or beer. I had already ordered a sparkling water at the start of the meal, but declined a wine or beer because I was driving, and so the staff did not charge for my earlier beverage which I thought was a nice touch.
The staff are friendly, although there only seemed to be two waiters on Monday night who were perhaps a little overworked and forgot about us a couple of times. After declining dessert we had to wait about 15 mins before an opportunity arose to request the bill.
The drinks menu is more than substantial. There are plenty of wines, beers, spirits and soft drinks to choose from, as well as a delicious looking cocktail menu - which will be investigated on another visit!
The dining menu is short but sweet, including options for both meat eaters and vegetarians. The tomato and ricotta ravioli looked absolutely amazing, but the burgers were tempting me too much this week, but I will certainly go back to test out the menu some more. In general you should expect to pay about £10-15 for a main course here, but the sizes are more than ample, and for a tasty dinner, I am very happy to pay those prices.