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Visiting Domali, a Crystal Palace cafe with some good vegan options

Another post that's been hanging around since before MoFo - a visit to another veg*n-friendly eatery in South London - Crystal Palace's Domali.

My other half had been to Domali a few times and had been attempting to drag me down there for a while before I finally succumbed to visiting, and on the whole, I'm glad he did.

It's a large, airy place indoors, with a few bench tables in its sweet and appealing back garden, if you're stopping by when the elusive London sun is making an appearance.

There's a lot of vegan menu options, though some aren't overly exciting (a hummus sarnie can be pleasant, but it doesn't get my pulse racing) and most are clearly labelled on the paper menu, though that marking hasn't made it across to the menus on the Domali website.

Those menus are divided up into small plates like olives or hummus and pita, main course salads, side orders, favourites like tomatoes on toast, and specials. There's also a separate breakfast menu, and happily, Domali doesn't just believe in serving breakfast at breakfast time. As well as standard full English type options, there's a comprehensive choice of sandwiches, including the aforementioned hummus variants.

One plus point worth mentioning - they also mention which of their wines and beers are vegan too. Hoorah!

On my first visit, I opted for the promising-sounding wild mushroom pate with chargrilled farmhouse bread in olive oil with salad garnish from the small plates selection. I also ordered some chips, because I like my plates on the large side.

Here's the pate:

I could be wrong, but it looks like a tin of Granovita turned onto a plate, or something similar. Don't get me wrong, I like Granovita, but I was hoping for something a bit more homemade from the kitchen. Also a whole can of pate is a lot when you've only got one slice of bread. The bread was nice, it tasted of the olive oil that had been promised, but I couldn't help but feel let down.

The chips though were glorious - whacking great things, soft in the middle, and almost a meal in themselves. The helpful staff also brought some vegan mayo too! They helped make up for the pate sadness.

I went back a couple of weeks after to meet some friends in the area, and feeling greedy, I went for the more substantial vegan full English. I immediately feel a warm fuzzy feeling towards anywhere that serves a vegan full English, though in this case, it may have been because I was enjoying a glass of one of their vegan wines at the time. (I should reiterate, this was lunchtime, despite the breakfasty nature of my meal.)

There was toast, beans, tomatoes, mushrooms and a bit of 'Lorne sausage', made by More than Meat. It isn't a company that I've heard of before, but being local, and a maker of fantastic vegan sausage patties, I'm hoping to run into them again - the patties were full of flavour, and the proteiny cornerstone of a good breakfast.

The toast was chunky granary which pleased me - a good change from the usual white that seems to accompany English breakfasts (why so? do we just need to maximise the unhealthiness of the affair?)  and the mushrooms were spot on. If you think the skill of your mushroom cooker is negligible, think again - the weepy creatures that besmirched my last full English still haunt me now.

I enjoyed my full English, I enjoyed the wine that came with it, and I enjoyed having enough warmth to sit outside. I'll be back to Domali - I'll just might give the pate a miss.

38 Westow St
SE19 3AH
020 8768 0096

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  1. I'd take the full english over the pate! I've had great vegan pates but never enountered vegan lorne sausage - sounds intriguing and would be enough to get me there if not for the hefty airfare involved

  2. I totally agree on the importance of well-cooked mushrooms. I've been hurt before too!

  3. That plate with pate does look rather sad!! I'm glad some of the other items were more enjoyable.

  4. The breakfast looks much better than the pate - I looked at that picture for a while trying to figure out what that "glob" was on the plate!

  5. The pate plate does look underwhelming, glad you gave them another chance because the breakfast looks awesome. After seeing and reading all about the full English breakfast, I want to try it now. :-)


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