Domali, SE19 3AH

Domali was a cafe and bar in Crystal Palace. It closed down at the start of October 2018.

The information below is retained for historical purposes.

Cafe and bar in Crystal Palace.

It's a small, narrow space, stretching back from the floor-to-ceiling front window past a large wood-fronted bar with two keg taps (clipped for Gun Scaramanga and Shepherd Neame Cinque lager on our September 2018 visit).

There's seating for around 35, half on tall chairs at high tables and the rest on metal-framed normal-height chairs at slabby wooden tables. The wooden theme is carried throughout, with bare boards on the floor and trees-in-winter wallpaper above half-panelling on the walls. A hatch at the back of the room gives a view onto the kitchen. Out the back there's a garden with picnic benches.

Prior to 2017, the menu was mostly vegetarian with some vegan and pescetarian options, but has now been overhauled to include meat. We're not sure if they still do their weekly blackboard specials, but as of early 2016 these always included a pasta dish, a pieminster "Heidi" pie (goat's cheese, sweet potato, spinach and shallot) with mash and onion gravy, burger with chips and salad, and a curry dish (sometimes featuring fish).

Bec and Steve first visited for breakfast on New Year's day 2015. Bec opted for the "build your own" with chips and chilli sauce (£3.50), beans (£1.05), and vegan bacon (£2.15). The chips were excellent — generously cut and very crispy, and the sauce had a flavoursome degree of heat. Steve had scrambled eggs with smoked salmon & dill on two slices of brown toast (£7). The eggs were well cooked and a good colour. We both ordered large cappuccinos (soya milk available for no extra charge).

Bec has since become a regular for weekend brunches. When I don't have a build-your-own cooked breakfast, I usually have a sandwich on their thickly sliced granary bread — the HBLT (humous, bacon, lettuce and tomato; £5) is my particular favourite. I've also sampled one of the blackboard mains, linguine with herbed tomato sauce and roasted butternut squash (£8.90 including a soft drink or selected cocktail), which was a generous but not overwhelming portion featuring excellent fresh pasta.

Kake visited on a Friday morning in September 2018. Arriving at their opening time of 9:30am, I was one of five customers; the others all seemed to be regulars. Music was playing, not too loud. Service was friendly and helpful.

I went for the avocado smash and poached eggs with sourdough toast (£7.50) and supplemented this with a side of steamed spinach (£3.20) photo of everything together. It was served disassembled, which was a little surprising. In addition, the avocado was not only fridge-cold, but served in a fridge-cold ramekin. However, the avocado was well seasoned and had a good texture, and the poached eggs had properly-runny yolks. The spinach was a generous portion, and competently prepared with no hint of grittiness or overcooking. The bread was good; a decent sourdough with a robust enough crust that I wished for a serrated knife to cut through it.

Bec's verdict: Excellent value for money in a welcoming and relaxing environment; I try to visit for vegan brunch at least once a month.

Child-friendliness: On our January 2016 visit there was a large stack of highchairs and many children of varying ages present. However, on our September 2018 visit there were no obvious highchairs. They have a children's menu.

Accessibility: A small step to get in, no more than an inch or so. The toilets are up a flight of stairs with a sturdy handrail on one side.

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Last visited by Kake, September 2018.
Last edited 2018-10-09 15:27:31 (version 9; diff). List all versions.