Crystal Rocks Cafe, Croydon

We’ve moved out of our Addiscombe flat and into a new part of town. Places we have looked at before and thought “that might be nice to visit” are suddenly right on our doorstep to walk to, try out and (hopefully) admire. We’re without internet so the following post, pictures and all, come from my phone so if the quality isn’t perfect then I can only apologise for not doing this place the justice it deserves.

The first on our list, a week after moving in, was to go and get brunch in a cafe somewhere. After the man left that was installing a new window and changing the locks we popped our shoes and coats on and started a walk to an unknown spot.

We decided to stop in Crystal Rocks Cafe. A clean, presentable and well loved looking spot situated in Croydon’s South End.

The finishing touches to the place, from the choice of wood for the furniture to the rope with light bulbs on, really gave it a comforting and enjoyable vibe. It had well considered and carefully placed photo frames on the wall and the bar for payment presented a delightful looking array of sweet treats.

The welcome we received was warm and friendly by a couple of stylish workers and they provided an additional menu to allow us both to look with ease. It’s great to cone across a cafe that only has a single menu on the table instead of adding clutter with a number of them wedged between items.

Service was swift and continued to be done in a way that gave a good aura. There was no rushing going on and it felt like they were welcoming you into the establishment to truly enjoy. Both staff members seemed to work seamlessly as a team which always helps to bring that comfort to those visiting.

The drink, a strawberry fruit smoothie, was refreshing and a good balance of flavours. It coming in a mason jar wasn’t necessarily the biggest of surprises but it worked well with the aesthetic and didn’t do the drink any harm. It did mean it came with a plastic straw though, which given the whole straw debate of 2018, and this is something that they could perhaps look into.

Crystal Rocks is a halal cafe, something that doesn’t bother us after buying from a halal butcher on the daily in our North London days, but that obviously means the bacon isn’t pork and a few other things might be turkey or beef instead. The bacon on my American pancakes with egg and a side of syrup was cooked to perfection, not at all greasy and cut through the other flavours on the plate well. In fact the whole dish was just delicious, full of flavour as well as being light and airy.

My partner went for the Turkish Breakfast. We’ve gone to a few cafes that serve these and every place seems to have its own take on it and this was no exception. It looked absolutely incredible and, unsurprisingly, I loved the plate it was served on. The egg was well cooked with a great runny yolk, the bread tasted fresh and full of flavour, there was a great variety of foods with decent separation to stop all the tastes merging together and they weren’t stingy with the portion size. If my own wasn’t so delicious I would have been jealous!

Two drinks and two dishes came to just under £19 which isn’t the cheapest, when there is a Wetherspoons over the road, but for a scrummy brunch in a friendly atmosphere with a wonderful sense of design around you it is totally worthwhile.

Very pleased to have this as my nearest cafe and will be returning again in the future.

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