A short bus ride away No. 1 – Peckham Bazaar (Peckham)

address: 119 Consort Road, London, SE15 3RU

telephone: 0207 732 2525

reservations@peckhambazaar.com and on opentable

http://peckhambazaar.com/

This is a new venture for us … writing about where to go for that special celebration, a birthday, anniversary or even wedding breakfast. But we still want to make it local and most are only a 20 minute walk from the middle of Brixton, or only a short bus ride if you have already done your 10,000 steps that day.

Peckham Bazaar  it a only a tiny restaurant, so is perhaps the more intimate evening than a celebration. In fact they don’t take reservations for more than 6 people but we think it is definitely putting on the shortlist for a special occasion. As with many restaurants the interior is eclectic – mismatched and sometimes wobbly tables fill the tiny space so you could, if you wanted,  join in many of the other diners’ conversations. The menu changes frequently but is generally described as a Balkan barbecue and although meat and fish are the main ingredients there are a few vegetarian options too.

Choosing from octopus, squid and scallops for starters was really tough and we ended up sharing octopus with white tarama and pickled vegetables which was so delicious we forgot to take any pictures. For the next course we chose the marinated quail and baba ganoush and slow roast lamb. All this produced a floor show at the grill with everyone moving around in dance sequences interspersed with a whoosh from the grill and a slow rising of blue smoke. Some of the spices and beans I had never heard of, let alone eaten, and they were wonderful – popping flavour into the mouth, a different one for each mouthful. The portions are also larger than most and filling with the addition of beans.

Pudding was of course baklava which came with rosewater ice cream – shared as we were both full on this weekday evening. The baklava was light and different again from the usual shop bought variety.

I have never had such interesting food that didn’t make me flinch or worry about what I was eating. It had a large sprinkling of pomegranate throughout and everything looked “normal” it is just the taste that wasn’t.

We washed it down with a glass of wine and the bill came to about £60.00 (we lost the bill…). They also provide a “feast menu” at about £32.00 per head without the wine. You will definitely need to book as this is a restaurant with a local reputation and is full most nights. They are open on Sunday evenings which makes a change and are only closed on Monday. In the summer there are a few tables out at the front to help with the overflow but while it is still chilly choose inside.

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