Category: Peckham


Peckham & Camberwell: Food & Drink Guide

October 11th, 2013 — 10:26am

I now live on the border (like actually right on the border) of Peckham and Camberwell, meaning I’m enjoying the best of both worlds. I am so lucky to live in this position, pretty much equidistant between all the restaurants and shops I love. So here’s an updated guide to my favourite places. I am aware of the omissions, some deliberate as I don’t rate them, but some because I haven’t been so please do let me know about your favourites.

I’m sad to say I’ve not found any decent jerk in Peckham in recent years; such a shame. You’ll just have to buy my jerk marinade and make your own *cheeky grin*.

Peckham: Restaurants and Cafes

1. Peckham Bazaar

Oh come on, it had to be number one, didn’t it? Peckham Bazaar (or P Baz as we call it in this house) is co-run by my boyfriend and my friend but honestly, it’s pan-Balkan heaven in deepest Peckham. Oh crikey that rhymes. Sod it. So yeah, I’m hugely biased, but it’s not just me who rates it; P Baz was Time Out’s No. 1 restaurant a few weeks back and the positive feedback in general has been overwhelming. The phone rings off the hook. The food just keeps getting better. It’s ridiculously good value. No-one else in London is doing this kind of food, this well. Just go.

Peckham Bazaar, 119 Consort Road, SE15 3RU (see website for opening times and weekly changing menu)

2. Indian Place off Rye Lane (it appears to be called just ‘Asian Takeaway’)

I’ve lived in Peckham for what, 8 years now? This place has apparently been open for 2 and I’d never noticed until recently. As I was waiting for my food on Saturday I helpfully suggested they get a sign, to which the owner responded by pointing at their sign.

They’re doing very simple, cheap and ace food from a little hut with a tandoor in the back. On the counter rest vast silver trays containing richly coloured curries, a couple of kofta ready to be cooked (chicken, lamb), rice, dhal, a yoghurt and coriander sauce. A gent stood in front of the tandoor, calmly knocking out naan after naan. We ate a lamb kofta which came in wrapped in that excellent fresh bread, with salad and sauce. The spicing is simple in the way that means every flavour is distinct. Oh and they also make a mean lamb samosa.

As I stood with my friend, shovelling down the kebab and mopping up the fall out, the owners kept ducking in and out with freshly cooked kebabs and bits to share with surrounding traders. We nicked a bit of the ‘special’ from the end of a long gleaming skewer; it’s that kind of place.

Curries

In charge of the tandoor

Lamb kofta (LINK TO FULL REVIEW OF THIS ON THE LONDON REVIEW OF SANDWICHES)

Indian takeaway, opposite Rye Lane station, just to the side of Ali Baba Fresh Vegetables (opposite Afro Foods). There’s a sign saying ‘Asian Takeaway’ on Rye Lane. It’s approx 133 Rye Lane, according to street view. 

2. The Begging Bowl

Good Thai restaurants in London are few and far between so what are the chances we’d get one in Peckham eh? Eh? EH? Okay so the heat levels at TBB might not be ‘authentic’ but hell, the food is tasty and the dishes are interesting. The betel leaves in particular are spesh. Read Lizzie Mabbott’s review for an idea of what to expect.

The Begging Bowl, 168 Bellenden Rd, London, Peckham, London SE15 4BW

4. Ganapati

Vegetarian street snacks – my favourite starter at Ganapati

Ganapati is a South Indian vegetarian restaurant and definitely the most expensive place in Peckham, but it’s worth the money. The smell of curry leaves and mustard seeds whacks you around the chops as soon as you walk in. They often have curd rice on the menu which I adore; yoghurt is stirred through cooked rice and finished with a sizzling hot oil, mustard seeds and glistening curry leaves.

Update: 7th Feb 2014 Ganapati now has a separate takeaway (delivery) place.

http://www.ganapatitakeaway.com/

Ganapati, 38 Holly Grove, London SE15 5DF

5. Anderson’s

I’m a regular at Anderson’s, particularly for their award winning sandwiches (surprise). They nail them simply because of the quality of the ingredients; farmhouse style ham pulled off the bone in chunks, well dressed salad leaves, Dijon, Brickhouse bakery bread (some of the best loaves in London, which they also sell to take away). Can’t argue with that. They also open some evenings and occasionally host pop ups with local cooks like Sally Butcher from Persepolis (see ‘shops’).

Anderson’s, 139 Bellenden Rd, London SE15 4DH

6. Il Giardino

Okay so the Italian food at this family owned restaurant isn’t going to win any awards, and it really isn’t the sort of place one would travel across London to visit, but for local people, it has other charms. Eating there is like eating in someone’s living room. The walls are crammed with trinkets, the toilets are to be found up the tiniest windiest wooden staircase; the whole place seems stuffed to bursting with memories and history and warm fuzzy feelings. Young boys who look about 10 get trained on the job while a proud family member listens in; just everything about it is so incredibly old school and charming. The pizzas won’t be giving Pizza Pilgrims, Franco Manca or Bravi Ragazzi a run for their money any time soon, but it’s more about the ‘experience’.

Il Giardino, 7 Blenheim Grove, London SE15 4QS

7. The Gowlett

This is a pub but I’ve put them in the restaurants section as they make an okay pizza. It’s not very nice as a pub. Sorry, die hard Gowlett fans.

The Gowlett, 62 Gowlett Rd, London, Greater London SE15 4HY

8. Peckham Refreshment Rooms

The new kid on the block. This place has been rammed since Rayner went but to be fair, was full from day one anyway. I tend to go for drinks rather than food but charcuterie and other simple dishes are available. The drinks selection is good: they’ve got Kernel beers, Foreign Extra Guinness and Breton cider. I haven’t had a chance to get down with the wine yet. I do have one major gripe with the place though and that is the seating; it’s unbelievably uncomfortable and needs to be changed asap.

Peckham Refreshment Rooms, Unit 4, 12-16 Blenheim Grove, London, Greater London SE15 4QL

9. Manze’s

One of the oldest pie and mash shops in London blah blah etc. etc. If pie, mash and liquor is your thing then you know where to go. You might not know WHEN to go however, as they have very odd opening times which clearly cater to a certain generation (hint: you’re not a member of it).

Manze’s, 105 Peckham High St, London, Greater London SE15 5RS

Peckham: Bars and Pubs

1. The Montpelier

I used to practically live in the Monty when I was further up that end of Rye Lane. When I moved I had to say goodbye but we had an intense and full on relationship while it lasted so I don’t mourn the loss too badly. What I like about the Monty is that it’s very laid back, they don’t cram too many seats inside and it just has a calm atmosphere. They show films in a room at the back and have live music occasionally. The beer isn’t even that good but they do at least have Mean Time and that stealthy bitch, Old Rosie cider. Apart from weekend lunch times it doesn’t get taken over by parents with young children, which is a miracle considering its proximity to East Dulwich.

The Montpelier, 43 Choumert Rd, SE15 4AR

2. Bar Story

Bar Story is pretty scrotty but nevertheless gets away with it, probably due to its location under the railway arches. Frequented by art students, they have a gallery in the back and the whole place has a an air of creativity about it. They also do cool pop ups like the recent Thai grill with Andy Oliver.

Bar Story, 213 Blenheim Grove, SE15 4QL

3. Frank’s Cafe and Campari Bar

The outrageously popular rooftop bar returns every year between the months of July-September. With reasonably priced cocktails, a kick ass view and a great atmosphere, it’s definitely worth climbing an ammonia scented stairwell for. Or you know, take the lift.

Frank’s Campari Bar, 10th Floor, Peckham Multi-Story Car Park, 95a Rye Lane, SE15 4ST

4. The Bussey Building

Man, have I had some nights in The Bussey. I shall say no more. See their website for details of upcoming events.

The Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane, SE15 4ST

Peckham: Food Shops

1. Persepolis

Everyone’s favourite yellow corner shop. Go here for all your Persian ingredient needs. If you can’t find that unusual grain needed for the latest Ottolenghi recipe, don’t worry, Sally will almost certainly have it. The most important purchase you can make at Persepolis however, is obviously MY JERK MARINADE!

Persepolis, 28-30 Peckham High St, SE15 5DT

2. Khan’s

The awesome old Khan’s sign – ‘walk in and see the variety’ – sadly now replaced.

Everyone knows I have a lot of love for the ramshackle temple of random that is Khan’s Bargain Ltd. The veg is usually really cheap and fresh – I say usually because they do have the occasional off day. The beans, pulses and grains section is second to none, they stock the best flat breads EVER and you know where to go if you ever want a plastic animal. Read my full post about Khan’s here.

Khan’s Bargain Ltd, 135 Rye Lane, SE15 4ST

3. General Store

General Store is a relatively new addition to Peckham, in the Bellenden area, which is known as the ‘posh bit’. This shop could not be more Bellenden if it tried; suitably expensive, but also full of high quality stuff including a small cheese selection and some more unusual veg – this is the place to go for your fractal-tastic romanesco cauli or samphire. Like I said, it’s the posh bit.

General Store, 174 Bellenden Road, SE15 

4. Flock and Herd

We are stupendously lucky to have this butcher on Bellenden Rd. Opened by ex-ginger pig manager Charlie, it has gone from strength to strength and now queues out of the door are a familiar sight. Peckham Jerk Marinade may well be stocked there soon. W Bunting is also pretty good, right at the other end of Peckham.

Flock and Herd, 155 Bellenden Rd, SE15 4DH

5. Veg and Meat on Rye Lane and The High Street

If General Store is in ‘new Peckham’ then this place is very much ‘old Peckham’ or ‘proper Peckham’ as I like to call it; this is where the energy lies. Basically the deal with the greengrocers all along Rye Lane and the High Street is that they sell a lot of the same stuff, but you just need to single out your favourite. I will go to different shops for different vegetables. E.g. I always go to the place by the station for spinach and corn, as it’s usually freshest. I will go to Khan’s for herbs. And so on. United Meats is the only place I will buy goat in Peckham. All the other butchers aside from Flock and Herd = avoid. Fish is a total no-go I’m afraid, you’ll have to go to Moxon’s in East Dulwich which I rate over Soper’s in Nunhead.

United Meats, 62 Peckham High St, SE15 5DP

If it’s African ingredients like dried shrimp, fish and every single Maggi product under the sun that you want, then any of the shops will sort you out. The African land snails are available from a place about halfway up Rye Lane every year. No I haven’t yet tried them.

6. Wing Tai

This is the only local Asian supermarket now that the one in Camberwell has shut down (there’s a huge one at Elephant but it’s a bit of a trek down the Walworth Rd). This one isn’t the biggest in the world but boy, do they cram it all in there.

Wing Tai, Wing Tai Supermarket, Unit 11a The Aylesham Centre, Rye Lane, SE15 5EW

Camberwell: Restaurants and Cafes

1. Silk Road

Silk Road is simply one of the best Chinese (Xinjiang) restaurants in London, full stop. I have only met two people who didn’t like the food; everyone else loves it to the point of obsession. I’ve actually had to limit the amount of visits I make there for fear that the worst will happen and I’ll get too familiar. Best dishes: Cold seaweed salad thing; cumin lamb skewers; home style cabbage; home style aubergine; fried dumplings; twice cooked pork; smacked cucumber; their handmade noodles in anything. It’s virtually impossible to spend more than £15, including drinks.

Silk Road, 49 Camberwell Church St, SE5 8TR

2. Zeret Kitchen

This for me is the best Eritrean/Ethiopian restaurant in London. I went to Ethiopia earlier this year and I can tell you that this is absolutely the real deal. It is also run by the nicest lady. I crave injera like no-body’s business since I’ve come back and am currently working on a recipe that is practical. In the meantime, it’s plenty of scran at Zeret Kitchen for me. Read Chris Pople’s review of a meal we had here.

Zeret Kitchen, 216-218 Camberwell Rd, London SE5 0ED

3. F M Mangal

A Turkish grill restaurant that is never less than rammed. F M Mangal are famous for their spice smeared flat bread and pomegranate dip with comes with grilled onions and garlic cloves. Fairly recently I discovered the takeaway section at the front, which is where I am usually to be found ordering a tuvuk sis, a chicken kebab which comes with salad, chilli and garlic yoghurt sauce, all wrapped in a (crucially) thin wrap which makes eating it all too incredibly easy. Always order a double raki while you wait.

F M Mangal, 54 Camberwell Church St, London SE5 8QZ

4. Wuli Wuli

I hesitated to put Wuli Wuli in to be honest; what used to be a really good Sichuan restaurant just suddenly went downhill when they started toning down the amount of chilli and Sichuan peppercorns in the food. It all became a bit tame which was hugely annoying as I used to order from them once every few weeks. Still, it’s worth giving them a go. Also I should say I haven’t been for about a year. Make sure to order from menu B. I have a copy on-line here.

Wuli Wuli, 15 Camberwell Church Street, SE5 8TR

5. Pasha Kyrgyz Kazakh Restaurant

I’d avoid the food in the main but Kazakh Kyrgyz is SUCH a fun place to have a drink just because it’s so ridiculous. There are mannequins in the corridor dressed in Turkish outfits, they have Turkish baths; the restaurant boasts a stream with a bridge over it and, well it’s just so silly it’s brilliant. Also, where else in Camberwell does one get a glass of Georgian wine?! Read my full post about it here.

Kazakh Kyrgyz, 158 Camberwell Rd,SE5 0EE

6. No. 67

I’ve had an utterly exquisite squid ink pasta dish here and I’ve had a god awful dessert. The best thing about No. 67 though is the space itself; all cosiness and twinkly lights and tables that you nestle into and never want to leave.

No. 67, 67 Peckham Rd, SE5 8UH

7. Viet Cafe (formerly Cafe Bay)

Okay so it’s not the most amazing banh mi in the world but come ON, we are in Camberwell, we are not overwhelmed with choices. I actually really enjoy the ‘chicken satay’ – novel in that it doesn’t taste like chicken satay. Review a on my sandwich blog here.

Cafe Viet, 75 Denmark Hill, SE5 8RS

8. Falafel

No prizes for guessing what these guys sell. It’s so sparse inside you’d be forgiven for thinking it was one of those shops you used to buy weed from that would just have a fish tank in the corner and a man behind the counter or something. What? Someone told me that okay, mum? The falafel is actually rather decent and they will wang it into a wrap with really fresh salad, sumac dusted onions, a garlic sauce and a chilli sauce that actually has a bit of heat to it. Not a lot, but a bit.

Falafel, 27 Camberwell Church Street, SE5 8TR

9. The Recreation Transformation

The Recreation pub (closed at the moment) is to be taken over by the people behind the Anchor and Hope, I believe. I’ve heard that the sous chef from the Canton Arms will be doing the cooking. It will take me all of 2 minutes to walk there. ME EXCITE.

Camberwell: Pubs

1. The Crooked Well

This is more of a gastro pub really, but I prefer to just drink there if I’m totally honest. They do a decent martini, or at least they did the last time I had one which was fairly recently. Aside from that it’s just a really pleasant space to sink a few.

The Crooked Well, 16 Grove Lane, SE5 8SY

2. Stormbird

Camberwell’s craft beer pub. It has quite a wide range of beers which change frequently. They had my beloved Jaipur on recently which I still maintain is one of the greatest beers ever produced. It does suffer slightly from Craft Beer Pub-itis which I did a rant about here and the ladies toilets need some attention – HOW LONG CAN IT BE BEFORE YOU REPLACE THE LIGHT BULBS?? – but it’s still a pub I spend time in.

Stormbird, 25 Camberwell Church St, SE5 8TR 

3. The Hermit’s Cave

This place looks like a bit of a shit hole which is why I like it. They have some decent beers on though – I’m told – I went right off ale a while ago, something to do with it being body temperature – like I say I just appreciate the way it’s so bedded in. A proper boozer. It’s got nothing on the Grosvenor in Stockwell but hey, not many pubs do.

Hermit’s Cave, 28 Camberwell Church St, SE5 8QU

4. The Bear 

So many people rate this place highly that I’m putting it in despite not having had the chance to really spend any time there yet. I’ve heard they do a mean roast.

The Bear, 296A Camberwell New Rd, SE5 0RP

Camberwell: Food Shops

1. Turkish Food Centre 

Despite being rather lacking in charm as a space, The TFC is great for buying cheeses like helim, feta, halloumi and the other ones I don’t know the name of, including those that come in a can. I am more than partial. Herb bunches are large and fresh and they sell the mild, pointed, waxy peppers I became fond of in Hungary. Obviously there are staples like pomegranate molasses, tahini, sumac etc. – ingredients you’d be hard pushed to find in Camberwell (nearest other shop for such delights = Persepolis).

Turkish Food Centre, 303-309 Camberwell New Road, SE5 0TF

2. Sophocles

Good for large, flat, sesame seeded loaves at under a quid. They also do a basic white loaf for under a quid although have let themselves down recently by under baking them often or baking them in the same oven as something containing cinnamon. That’s incredibly irritating.

Sophocles, 24 Camberwell Church St, SE5 8QU

3. Cruson

Cruson winds me up in so many ways but it has to be said there is nowhere else in Camberwell to buy a globe artichoke or patty pan squash. The problem with them having so much variety is that a lot of it is always going off. Perhaps that’s why they charge nearly twice as much for a jar of Hellman’s as anyone else has ever done in any shop in the world, ever.

Cruson, 26 Camberwell Church Street, SE5 8QU

You’ll notice that there are omissions from both these sections and I’d like to hear your thoughts. I’m afraid Angels and Gypsies isn’t there as I think it’s too expensive. I once spent £20 on a 3 tiny tacos. Some places I’ve not included however as I haven’t been, which is where you come in. Any thoughts on…

Cafe Viva? (never been able to get in there due to buggies)
Peckham Pelican?
Other pubs in Camberwell?
The African restaurant on Choumert Rd? (I once tried to eat there but they wouldn’t let me in and I still don’t understand why)
Lovely House on Bellenden?

Need we mention either the Peckham or Camberwell farmers’ markets? Oh dear. Will someone put some life into these please?!

61 comments » | Area Guides, Camberwell, Peckham, Pubs, Restaurant Reviews, Shops

Peckham Jerk Marinade, Now Available to Buy Online!

August 4th, 2013 — 10:41pm

I have finally done it. After 2 weeks of arsing about with plugins and payment methods and sweating with anxiety after I mucked up the blog for the tenth ruddy time, I have made a page where you can buy Peckham Jerk Marinade. It can also be accessed via the tab at the top of the homepage which is called, handily, ‘BUY PECKHAM JERK MARINADE’. Oh and let me know what you think if you try it, I’d love to add your feedback to the page.

CLICK HERE TO BUY SOME NOW! 

15 comments » | Food From The Rye, Peckham, Peckham Jerk Marinade

KERB does Peckham: Friday 19th July

July 16th, 2013 — 11:35am

It’s all kicking off in Peckham, huh? Now food market giantz KERB are bringing their best to Peckham’s incredible Bussey Building. Man, have I had some nights in there. This is going to be a little less messy than your trad Bussey night out but no less fun; there will be two bars, run by Peckham Crave and a list of stall holders to die for. Check out the full  list of traders HERE. I’m a gonna be heading straight to my favourite, The Everybody Love Love Jhal Muri Express. Miss P’s BBQ is also intriguing. Oh and there’s Bao. In fact, it’s worth going halfsies with your mates so that you can try more stuff. My top greedy girl tip for you there…

 

 

 

2 comments » | Food From The Rye, Markets, Peckham

Jerk Party at Peckham Bazaar This Saturday/Sunday!

July 11th, 2013 — 2:49pm

For one week only Peckham Bazaar will be having a JERK PARTY! Chicken and fish will be marinated and grilled in my Peckham Jerk Marinade and served with some truly awesome sides. There’s also a pudding that makes me want to weep tiny spicy tears of joy. Here’s the full menu:

Peckham Jerk Party Saturday 13th/Sunday 14th July 12pm – late

Jerk corn fed chicken with ragamuffins and green mango salsa. £6.50

(Peckham Jerk marinated chicken, cornmeal muffins with sweetcorn and chilli and a spicy salsa made with green mangoes).

Jerk baby back ribs with coleslaw and scotch bonnet ketchup. £6.50

(Peckham Jerk marinated pork ribs with a traditional-style coleslaw and a tongue whipping scotch bonnet condiment).

Jerk glazed fish with island rice salad and grilled lime. £6.50

(Peckham Jerk glazed sea bream with grilled red pepper and black eye bean rice salad and limes caramelised on the BBQ).

Rum glazed grilled pineapple, apricot chutney and coconut ice cream. £4.50

(Pineapple, slicked with RUM, caramelised on the grill and served with a tropical tasting ice cream and apricot chutney).

Drinks: Ting, Ginger Beer, cold Red Stripe and Franklin’s Citra IPA on tap. Oh and wine TBC.

*** CASH ONLY ***

Location: Frog on the Green, 119 Consort road, Peckham, SE15 3RU

2 comments » | Food From The Rye, Peckham, Peckham Bazaar, Peckham Jerk Marinade, Pop-up Restaurants

Peckham Jerk Marinade, Munch and a Jerk Party at Peckham Bazaar

July 9th, 2013 — 9:29am

This weekend is going to be pretty special for food related events going down in Peckham. First of all, it’s my Peckham Jerk Marinade stall. The marinade has been a work in progress for years now and after a lot of umming, ahhing, grilling, eating and nagging from my favourite local shopkeeper, I’ve decided to start selling it. It will be available to buy on this site in the next week or so, and you’ll also find some in Persepolis. I’ll let you know when they’re available. In the meantime however, you can buy them at Peckham’s summer food market next weekend – Munch!

There’s going to be all sorts happening, the most exciting of which is OBVIOUSLY the opportunity to get your mits on my jerk marinade. And no it isn’t the recipe published on this site, before any smart arses come to the fore. It’s shiny and new and I really hope you like it. After you’ve bought your jar of jerk marinade, there’s food to be had from The Begging Bowl, Peckham Refreshment Rooms, Ganapati,  Frank’s, Blanch and Shock and and and…I’ve just realised there’s too many to mention. There will be stalls, talks and a pop up with Ben Spalding. Find the full line up here.

Peckham Bazaar is most definitely still ON this weekend too but we’re mixing things up a bit…we will be having a JERK PARTY! There will be grilled chicken and fish cooked in my marinade, plus sides and a dessert of caramelised rummy pineapple heaven served with coconut ice cream. Full menu to come in the next couple of days. You’ll be able to smell the wafts of that jerk from Rye Lane as the allspice rides the air and the sounds of the completely awesome Spotify playlist that I haven’t yet made tickles the eardrums. It’s going to be FUN. Starts at lunchtime, runs until late…hopefully see you there!

 

 

3 comments » | Food From The Rye, Markets, Peckham, Peckham Bazaar, Peckham Jerk Marinade, Stalls

Menu for Peckham Bazaar: 6th/7th July

July 5th, 2013 — 1:06pm

Za’atar grilled lamb chops with imam bayaldi spread, broad beans and labneh, on flatbread 

Well Peckham Bazaar got off to an incredible start last weekend; the grill smoking and sizzling in the sunshine, the beer flowing (down my throat) and the food completely sold out by the end of the weekend. This week’s menu looks even better I have to say, and the weather looks set to be SCORCHIO! Check out the menu below. I can’t wait. Hopefully see some of you there!

Peckham Bazaar: Menu Sat 6th/Sun 7th July

Pork souvlaki wrap with tsatsiki and pickled carrots £5

Grilled lamb chop on Greek flat bread with imam bayaldi and labneh £6.50

Grilled lamb sweetbreads with farkah and aytar £6.50

Grilled sea bream with tarama and fennel salad £6.50

Herb marinated feta with courgette, broad bean and preserved lemon salad £6.50

Grilled apricot and fig skewers with cardamon and honey sponge and caramelised hazelnut yoghurt £4.50

Franklin’s brewery beer. Citra IPA and English Garden £4 a pint

9 comments » | Food From The Rye, Peckham, Peckham Bazaar, Pop-up Restaurants, Uncategorized

Peckham Bazaar Pop Up: Opening this Saturday!

June 27th, 2013 — 10:09am

Listen up, Peckham people! And the rest of you! Don’t think you’re getting away with not paying attention. There’s some exciting cooking going down over the next few weeks, a series of pop ups, in preparation for a change of direction for John Gionleka of Frog on The Green. I’ve had to keep my eager trap shut about this for weeks which was hard, because I always want to shout about John’s cooking at every opportunity. These pop ups are happening to give people a taster of the food that will be hopefully be served more long term at John’s new mangal restaurant; not just another mangal restaurant mind you – this is going to be very much branded with his culinary style, which draws inspiration from all over the Balkans.

We had a little menu tasting session with a few mates on Sunday and it was very promising. One of the most pleasing parts of this whole venture, to me at least, is that John plans to tackle a problem which I find myself facing in every mangal in town. That problem being that the meze is always a bit shit. I eat it, but it seems that for some unknown reason, no-one ever puts any more than the bare minimum of effort into making the various dishes. Too-cold blobs of yoghurty things, grainy hummus and fierce pink tarama (major soft spot for the latter, but still), all a bit one note, all a bit clumsy. Why? Those ingredients, those flavours…I’ve always known that meze could be fantastic. And now it is. At Peckham Bazaar, the following will be incorporated with the main dishes, rather than served as starters. Here are some of the flavours to expect…

Just look at that cacik. Okay so I know I’m a sucker for a yog dish but really, that’s some fine cacik right there. For the uninitiated, cacik is a Turkish doozy of a dip made with yoghurt (duh), grated cucumber, dill and garlic, garnished with paprika and little golden pools of oil. She purdy. Reeeal purdy.

A stunning imam bayaldi, an aubergine dish the name of which translates as ‘the priest fainted’. The story generally bandied about is that the priest fainted because the dish was so unbelievably delicious. I prefer the story that he passed out cold when he found out how much it cost to cook it. It’s just more fun to think of this priest dude as a bit of a tight arse. See how all those ingredients have sort of fainted onto that aubergine, just like the priest? That’s what makes the texture so incredible. Imagine the spreadable silk that is that aubergine underneath. Go on. It is authentically oily, which enhances the texture and encourages dunking, wiping and possible drinking from the plate. Now do a Google image search for imam bayaldi and see how shonky this dish usually looks. Again, I always knew it could be this way.

Skordalia (above) as John put it, is like ‘Greek aioli’ – a whipped mixture of potato and garlic. I confess to snaffling the leftovers and eating it on toast for breakfast the next day. ‘HIIIIII COLLEAGUES!’

Salads will provide fresh contrast to grilled meats. From the top there is tomato, cucumber, onion and chervil; celeriac, orange, radish and mint and finally watermelon with the lemon bite of sorrel – a watermelon salad without feta! John jested about that last comment, but he has a bloody good point. These will be changed according to available ingredients.

A hugely popular dish was the bottarga mayonnaise. Bottarga is dried and salted roe, the most prized being from the grey mullet, although it also comes from tuna. This mixture was like taramasalata (or taramOsalata to be correct, I believe) but more sophisticated; savoury, salty (obviously fishy) and a damn sight more wobbly. Keen eyes kept close watch on its movements around the table. I can’t say I wouldn’t have decked someone for the last spoonful.

As with the meze, the devil is in the detail. These are table seasonings, including smoked chilli with salt, home made za’atar which is thyme, sumac and sesame seeds and frankly kicks the ass of any ready made blends and finally, dukka. These are going to make excellent sprinkles for sizzling grilled bits but I found myself throwing them on everything, particularly the yoghurt and cucumbers.

I can tell you I also ate a perfectly tender, dinky lamb chop that is going to get busy with that imam bayaldi like Sean Paul gettin it on til a early morn . Other dishes will include a pressed pork belly number. See link below for full menu.

There will be lokma (loukoumades) served with chilli, salt and honey for dessert. Beer will be from the Franklyn’s brewery. Wine from Southern Puglia.

The pop up will be open for bizniz, blud (Peckham, innit) this coming weekend (12-8pm Saturday and Sunday). Watch this space and follow John or Donald or Peckham Bazaar on Twitter for more details over the coming weeks.

Peckham Bazaar at Frog on The Green
119 Consort road
Peckham
SE15 3RU
12pm till 8pm Saturday and Sunday
MENU FOR THIS WEEKEND IS HERE

9 comments » | Food From The Rye, Peckham, Pop-up Restaurants, Restaurant Reviews

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