Pedler – a 5 minute bus ride away

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Address:: 58 Peckham Rye, Peckham, London SE15 4JR

Telephone:  020 30305015

website: http://www.pedlerpeckhamrye.com/

We thought we would travel further afield and go to the nearest hipster area – upcoming Peckham. This restaurant styles itself as “Your vibrant neighbourhood eatery, set up by a team that live in and love Peckham.” How could we resist, especially for a special treat on a weekday to entertain a guest. The smallish restaurant has a bar and mostly 4 person tables so they have two sittings between 7.45 and 9.00 and allow two hours. We hit the 7.30 one. Our four person team were shown to a table in the space near the toilets (worth a visit for a look at the décor) but really close to the kitchen where all the action is.

Dinner comes as a series of plates one at a time so you share, making it all very communal with lots of time for conversation. The plates are different in size but you can only tell that by the price. Dishes and influences come from all over the world, although the ingredients are sourced relatively locally.

We chose a series of smaller and larger dishes including: chilli & bean arancini, patatas bravas, tuna, mac and cheese, veal belly, fried chicken, beef suet pudding with a side order of beef dripping chips.

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The service is slow, but deliberately so, and it does allow you to savour each dish, But with four of us it might have been easier if we had two dishes at any one time. The starving fell on each dish as it arrived and it was a bit of a scrum at the beginning (you can tell by the pictures which were often taken as an afterthought). We really loved the beef suet pudding and the mac and cheese (we ordered two!). The chicken was very spicy so might have had a bit of a warning, but despite that the plate was wiped clean. Sometimes there was a detail or two we would have changed (e.g. crispier fat on the veal) but we thought everything was high quality and interesting. We failed to take a picture of that day’s menu but you can see by the pictures that all looks pretty.

We also ordered puddings – some to share including chocolate mousse and  treacle sponge. We enjoyed them but occasionally there was a slightly bum note as one of our company lost a tooth in the very sticky caramel but we don’t blame that on the restaurant.

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We washed the food down with cocktails and some wine. The bill (including £33.50 of alcohol) came to £113 for four people which we thought a bargain. When we have another set of guests in the neighbourhood we will definitely go again. An exciting place that is pushing boundaries and definitely somewhere to celebrate. Our loyalty to Brixton is undiminished but, if pressed, it does seem that currently the food scene in Peckham is a bit more interesting.

 

 

 

Gremio de Brixton

gremio04 address: underneath St. Matthews Church, Brixton Hill SW2 1JF

telephone: 020 7924 0660

http://gremiodebrixton.com/

It’s more than a year and a half since we first reviewed Gremio (see here) but little has changed, although the lighting is better and the number of customers has swelled. It lies underneath St Matthews Church with the entrance down some steps on the northern/town centre side. The crypt is a restaurant and bar with tables outside overlooking the Peace Garden – even in the depths of a winter’s night there were a few hardy souls or perhaps committed smokers sitting there. It is a bit like a cut down version of the Mezquita in Cordoba. Lots of pillars obscuring the view of the other diners, making the spaces a bit more intimate (so might be good for Valentines). The bar is dark and looks smoky, although, of course, it isn’t, but the spaces are again small and dark. The restaurant tables have overhead lights, making it possible to read the menu.

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Wahaca

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address: Wahaca Brixton, 20 Atlantic Road, London SW9 8JA

telephone number +44 (0) 20 3763 6357

http://www.wahaca.co.uk/

We did say when we set up this blog that we would only review restaurants that were not part of a chain  … but we make the rules so we can break them. Also, the opening of Wahaca Brixton marks a further shift in what Brixton has to offer and does deserve some comment. It has taken over a large pub that used to be the Railway Hotel but was also part of the Brady’s chain of pubs and known as such by many locals. It was home to gigs, caucus meetings and other more shady goings on. There are some that still mourn its going but not so much by us. The beer wasn’t anything special; the carpet on the floor stuck to your feet if you rested for even a few minutes; and with the smoking you could cut the atmosphere with a knife. We spent many nostalgic and definitely misspent evenings there but, while there are different views about its loss in the eatinbrixton team, we do think that the new restaurant is an asset for Brixton. Continue reading

Brixton Flavours Festival

So.Much.Food. From sushi and brownies to chicken and tortillas and crepes I have actually only recently regained my appetite after our gluttonous evening in preparation for the brand new festival Brixton Flavours. With the actual day not until Sunday 26th October we were invited to see what the whole thing was all about this week and also apparently to eat our whole body weight in food.

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Brixton Flavours states that it is a festival to introduce people to the wide variety of cuisines and restaurants that our beloved hometown has to offer. It was clear from the way the organisers spoke that that they were committed to making sure that they didn’t just go to the well-known haunts in town, but to showcase all that Brixton has on offer. This is something that we at Eat in Brixton are always striving to achieve so it’s brilliant to see others with such passion as well. The day ticket holders are invited to sample secret dishes not usually available on the menu from over 22 restaurants around Brixton (full list of those participating can be found here). You will also be given 15 Brixton pounds to spend in any of the participating restaurants, so incorporating the idea of boosting the local economy.

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The Provincial

Address: 21 Market Row, Brixton SW9

Provincial has been known as the place where you do not know when or if you will get the food you ordered. We decided to test this again after we had a recommendation to try their ceviche. Now we know a little something about ceviche having learnt how to prepare it on the Amazon and eating in the best ceviche restaurant in Peru – showing off I know but we wanted you to know that we have got some expertise in judging this dish and its authenticity.

Provincial opens its doors so that it flows into Market Row. With its colourful orange interior and the wall mural of Peruvian life it does have the feeling of a South American restaurant down to the rickety chairs and tables. They can take larger groups as we saw on the Saturday night that we visited. The waiting staff were all women overlooked by the manager who pops into the restaurant from the kitchen to deliver food directly to the tables.

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Gremio de Brixton

gremio04 address: underneath St Matthews Church, Brixton Hill SW2 1JF

telephone: 020 7924 0660

http://gremiodebrixton.com/

We have no idea why we have waited so long to make a visit to Gremio de Brixton. It is underneath St Matthews Church – a place we know well as one of us went to playgroup there. But now the whole of the crypt has been turned into a restaurant and bar with tables outside overlooking the Peace Garden. But there was no room outside on such a warm evening so we headed into the dark cool depths to the cellar like rooms. It is a like a cut down version of the Mezquita in Cordoba. Lots of pillars obscuring the view of the other diners (although there were none when we visited). All the small tables were lit with a single candle but with overhead lights making it relatively easy to read the menu. The ceiling is low, the music loudish and we thought when full the noise would echo off the plain brick walls and pillars. But nonetheless we thought it was a fantastic venue.

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The Provincial (formerly Tapas Pa’Ti)

Address: 21 Market Row, Brixton SW9

Another of the new restaurants popping up in Market Row is Tapas Pa’ti (translated to Tapas For You) a place advertised as serving home cooked Spanish tapas. With an open front and tables both inside and out, Spanish music playing in the background and the red brick décor and dark wood the place has a real feels of a traditional Spanish bar.

Before I begin on the food I must point out that the eatinbrixton gang are frequent visitors of Spain, meaning we are huge fans of tapas. One thing I love about tapas is the environment that you eat it in. With baking heat, Salsa music playing in the background, a leg of ham hanging from the bar and usually a couple of regulars who seem to always be hanging around, all create the mood of a Spanish bar. Luckily this place creates that for us (although don’t rely on the weather!).

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Boqueria

address: 192 Acre Lane, Brixton, London, SW2 5UL

telephone: 020  7733 4408

info@boqeriatapas.com

A new restaurant on Acre Lane this is the last in a trio of eating places just past Lidl that we would definitely recommend. The restaurant consists of a bar which can be seen from the street and a restaurant area at the back which spans two shopfronts. The decor is minimalist and we really mean minimalist. This is not like the pop-ups in Brixton Village with their borrowed furniture. This restaurant has modern wooden tables for two people, pale wooden floors and few pictures.

Boqeria opened just before Christmas so we went for a family outing for six and this was only a couple of days past the opening. We usually give restaurants a little time to settle down first but in their case the food was good and we thought we should alert people to the opportunity as it is easy to miss among the empty shops in that stretch of the road.

As this was part of our Christmas celebrations we started with cocktails – not our best decision. The martini was mostly vermouth, the special mojito had too much sugar in it and the other drinks were even less like what we expected. However, the beer and the wine are fine – we had a reasonably priced Rioja.

As we cook a lot of Spanish food and visit Spain regularly – particularly Andalusia which is the home of the tapas, we feel we know a lot about the cuisine. The food at this restaurant compared well. You choose from a menu of tapas, specials (on the board), rice dishes, like paella and arroz negro, and salads. As there were six of us we chose two dishes each and a few extras so had lots to try. The croquetas were a hit although we preferred the ones with ham rather than cheese, but the patatas bravas needed a little extra spice. The Fabada (beans and bacon), tortilla and calamare were also very delicious. We were delighted to see the inclusion of Iberico ham, a family favourite and hard to come by in South London. Unusually for any tapas restaurant we were not provided with bread as part of the meal, particularly with the ham. Pudding was complimentary with traditional Spanish sweets such as turron, a most enjoyable touch.  Overall we would rate this restaurant highly for the food but here is the but ……

Tapas can be a slow meal – its really a discussion interspersed with food and that’s what makes it enjoyable. If there are only two of you in the party then having the food come two dishes at a time is fine. If there are six of you then the two dishes are emptied almost immediately and everyone is still famished and getting drunker. So our advice for the restaurant is to consider the size of the party and provide the dishes a few more at a time so. If this had happened then we would have probably ordered a few more but no-one was in the mood given the time each one took to appear and we did wait some time for an interesting pork belly dish that came alone about 20 minutes after all the other food had disappeared. An explanation of each dish would also have been helpful so we didn’t have to guess.

Meal came to about £25 a head, but we were over indulging in the lead up to Christmas so that may have upped the price.

The service was not as attentive as it should have been, however the staff were extremely friendly when they appeared. But we know they will improve and we still think it is well worth the effort of walking a little further from Brixton to  experience this Spanish home cooking and I am looking forward to our next visit with my fingers crossed that they would have ironed out the kinks by then. Another culinary delight added to Brixton