Joannas, Crystal Palace

Grilled squid with avocado

South is not a place I visit often, but a trip to see my dear friend Valentina (senior writer for Cook & Pour) and her new baby presented an opportunity to check out the food offering south of the river. I do love trying new places and discovering new food. You can comfortable in your own zone. We were also joined by Pascal who was visiting London for a couple of weeks.

Heritage tomato with buratta


Crystal Palace’s high street reminds me of Primrose Hill. A small village vibe with independence dominating the street. No flood of well known chains here.

Joanna’s is a brasserie which reminds me of Cafe Boheme in Soho. It had remnants of French style, but the menu itself is not predominantly French cuisine. There is a small terrace outside which I would see more for smokers as the noise and pollution from high street traffic is not appealing. I guess it depends on how badly you want the sun. On our visit, the warm day did not affect us as the air conditioning is on point.

Our dining experience began with burrata and heritage tomato for Valentina with the freshest tasting tomato and creamiest texture for the cheese. I had grilled squid and avocado, with the squid being tender and not at all tough.

For our maim course, Pascal joined us and I defaulted to my second favourite meat of chicken thigh, romesco, and grilled leeks. Valentina had chilli king prawns salad with peas, radish, baby gem – fresh and healthy. Pascal opted for a large helping of steak with chunky chips.

A fantastic dining experience in an area which is slowly creeping up my list of options for buying in. A nice area, good transportation links. The people seem really friendly and if my buddy feels comfortable there with a new born, it says a lot abotu the area.

56 Westow Hill
Crystal Palace
SE19 1RX


Hey, I am Sammijo the owner of this wee blog. A geeky chick, with a love of Xbox, Spotify, Samsung, Patty & Bun, Langley's No 8 Gin, Netflix, Essex, Aldi and H&M.