address: 119 Queens Road, Peckham, London SE15 2EZ
Tel: 020 3950 0226
Peckham seems to be blooming at the moment, with new restaurants that spring up in unprepossessing line of shops. Kudu is no exception, amid cheap grocery stores and worldwide pay stores sits this little gem. South African inspired food but no South African inspired decor. Rather they have gone for small tables, stools at the bar and lots of wood. It’s open for lunch, brunch and dinner except for Mondays and Tuesdays. For our Wednesday business dinner we booked (OpenTable), and went straight from work. Later it gets very busy so booking is essential.
The main theme is barbecue and there is lots of flame from the open kitchen often looking like a game of chicken by the chefs – highest flame without singeing your eyebrows. The menu consists of snacks, small plates and medium plates and dessert (we never made it that far).
From the snack menu we chose Kudu bread with seafood butter (lots of tasty shrimps swimming in salty butter). The bread is light, slightly sweet and more like brioche. Fried artichokes with miso mayonnaise, which were not a favourite. As the artichokes cool down they become more difficult to eat as their crispiness disappears – be warned eat it all in one go.
From the small plates we ordered onion and beer tarte tatin with goat’s curd, Pigs head tortellini, mushroom & hay broth, crispy onions and the Mussel potjie pot with seaweed gnocchi. A potjie means “small pot food” usually cooked outside on a braai (barbecue of some sort) and in our case was a small cast iron pot – it was definitely our favourite and I was glad we had saved some bread. But the tart also got a thumbs up, really sweet from the caramelised onions set off by the curd … oh no … I sound like Greg Wallace. The tortellini were tasty and the broth delicious – unfortunately I had run out of bread by this time.
Finally we ordered the Braai lamb neck, smoked yogurt, lettuce, sprouting broccoli from the medium plates menu. It was also lovely but I am channelling my inner Jay Rayner and will just say the plate was bare at the end of the meal.
There were six plates in all and they came at just the right speed, so we didn’t feel rushed and could draw breath and extra wine in between. The bill was £136.58 including two bottles of wine and service. It might seem a lot but the quality of the food was great and you could make it cheaper by drinking water! Wine, however, allowed a full and frank discussion of work issues.