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119 Consort Road
Following its 2014 refit, Peckham Bazaar has transformed from a bish-bash-bosh outfit serving eye-opening Ottoman-inspired food into a serious neighbourhood restaurant. The cooking now takes place within the spruced-up dining room, where orange-tinged wood panels and pistachio-green walls channel 80s Greek package holidays. Flavour-wise, nothing has been lost – the grill’s smoky flavours still work their magic on an assortment of no-frills rustic dishes at “very reasonable prices”. Seafood is a top call, with Balkan-inspired specialities such as dukkah-spiced mackerel on dill-flecked rice or morsels of octopus with colourful dabs of homemade taramasalata drawing appreciative gasps. Enjoy them with a Greek wine from the fascinating list. Service can be so laid-back that you may end up stage-managing your meal, but the charming staff are instantly forgiven. Anyway, when you’re sat on the fairy-lit terrace on a summer evening, this lazy pace simply adds to the holiday feel. All in all, “a perfect local spot”.
Best restaurants in Peckham
119 Consort Road
Peckham Rye Station 726m
Nunhead Station 804m
Premier Cinema 561m
Aquarius Golf Club 1km
Thu-Fri 6-11pm Sat-Sun 12.30-11pm
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 4
Hands up if you don't know what pan-Balkan means? Just me then. If the lovely Peckham Bazaar's anything to go by, it means good things for food. So unexpected in terms of location and execution, but we were knocked out by the procession of elegant courses we encountered. Each element was resolutely considered, improving upon time-honoured, Ottoman-inspired dishes rather than needlessly messing in the name of being cheffy. Such pretty plates... and ruddy magnificent to eat.
The best of the bunch was imam bayildi; stuffed aubergines containing swoon-worthy quantities of extra virgin olive oil. It's a Greek classic that fuelled months of island hopping in my youth, but Peckham Bazaar's handsome specimen won hands down. Spiced quail was more of a departure from tradition, but proved fiddly and fabulous in equal measure. Served with smokey, sweet and sumac-sour freekeh grains and a flurry of pomegranate, the balance between refinement and robust flavour was spot on.
(Let's not forget the starters though. Charred asparagus and baked feta arrived dotted with pearl-like fresh peas and super tender broad beans, pods 'n' all. An other-worldly, mauve tentacle emerged from an oddly beauteous plate of octopus. Every mouthful was delicious).
Pud came in the form of baklava, or goaty Greek numbers (and a cheddar-esque interloper) on the cheeseboard. We moved to the diminutive outdoor space and topped off the meal with a glass of Fokianos. This deeply unusual grape is indiginous to the Greek island of Ikaria, and nods to tawny port in character. It's also indicative of the offbeat but exciting cellar spanning Croatia and Moldova via Cyprus, but leads me to my only grumble. The menu broadcasts: 'BYO on Saturday lunch... no supermarket wine please'. A well-to do-companion recoiled in mock horror at this affectation; 'but what if it's from Waitrose'?! Indeed. We understand the 'small producers' agenda to which the menu alludes, but still found it sniffy. Despite this, the resident wines earn their stripes with plenty of unknown (and unpronounceable) varieties available by the glass. The retsina surprised us as the acceptable face of 'pine wine', while a dry muscat was complex and intriguing.
Admittedly, Peckham Bazaar is in prime hipster territory; we were the token squares rocking conventional shoe/sock combos, non-awkward trouser lengths and a distinct lack of lumber-sexual facial hair. But this place isn't overtaken by swank; we enjoyed a relaxed, impressive meal and - importantly - didn't feel like odd fish. In short, take the detour - this former pub turned purveyor of grub is sublime.
Food + drink: 5
Just celebrated another addition to our top list of neighbourhood eateries in South East London: We had a wonderfully cozy Saturday lunch with friends at this relaxed little restaurant. If you are a fan of Balkanese cuisine, the menu reads like a poem. We decided for the chef to dish up his personal highlights - absolutely recommended, especially when you are a group: crispy cod balls with beet root and creamy skordalia, mussels in spicy tomato sauce, soft savoury cuttlefish on a black pasta bed, grilled minced meat with with green lentils. Make sure you share the desserts, too: I had baklava with rosewater ice cream (if I remember correctly), while my daughter ringfenced her orange and cardamom cake from intruders. The service was very friendly and on the spot. The place itself mixes the charms of that former Victorian deli with a relaxed Southern European eatery. Will definitely re-visit, especially when the warmer season starts and the outdoor barbecue gets back.
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