Do believe the hype
I found myself in Peckham Bazaar for a friend’s birthday. I’m not a huge fan of birthday dinners with more than 4 people, as the host generally opts (sensibly) for a place that does set menus to keep costs low and affordable. I equate said set menus with bad meal experiences. I need not have worried though, as my friend Michael, has great taste.
The meal was for 16 or so people and we virtually took up the whole restaurant. A lovely mint green is the coat of choice, with a few choice pieces of wall decoration, including an art deco transatlantic poster. The whole place has an easy vibe to it, contributed in part by the guys who look after you. I’m not well versed in ‘Pan Balkan’ food (as the proprietors describe it) but the waitresses that served us were more than willing to explain and suggest things in an unpatronizing manner.
Not hugely hungry, I opted for two small plates: marinated beetroot, baked feta and skordalia (£5.50) and cherry smoked trout, tarama, fennel and orange salad (£6.50).
Peckham Bazaar’s approach to food is simple “We buy great ingredients. We cook them over an open fire using Greek, Turkish, Albanian and Iranian recipes. That’s it.” Don’t be fooled by their obvious modesty – the food is seriously tasty. Good house wine too at affordable prices.
I didn’t go snap happy with the food and interiors as I didn’t want to disrupt the birthday revelry, so I decided to head back another day to capture the food and surroundings.
Everyone was so lovely and accomodating and let me just get on with shooting when I came down on a Sunday. I had planned to literally pop in and out but the two chefs at the grill were so sweet and entertaining, we got chatting for a while and the more I watched them cook and smelt the lovely aromas, the more my stomach started to grumble. So, I decided to stay a little longer and have 1 small plate, which turned into 2 and then 3!
As it was a lovely day, I lingered on the outdoor decking (I believe there are plans to rejig the current set up and create a more weather accomodating grill area but still with outdoor seating) and noticed hints of mint green also pervade the outdoor space as displayed on the Peckham Bazaar signage. I love little details like this.
Dish 1, was the pide, black olives and z’aatar (£2.50) – delicious but a little too much z’aatar for my liking, the olives were insane.
Dish 2, red lentil fritters on a bed of perfectly smooth butternut squash puree and pomegranate salad (£6.50) – another winner.
Dish 3, grilled squid, kholrabi, preserved lemon and chilli (£8). I have had so many bad experiences with non-deep fried squid but it looked so appetizing when I saw the chefs preparing it, I took the plunge and ordered this as well. O, my days was it good. Reluctant to let the spicy sauce go to waste, I soaked it up with my remaining pide.
Londoners are becomingly increasingly fickle with so much fantastic and diverse food on offer; some people sneer at places because they’ve become ‘ too well known’ and thus deemed as no longer hip, and they desperately try to uncover the new cool restaurant kid on the block. I don’t care for such. I know I will keep coming here whether or not it becomes passe, because the food and service is very good. The only downside to Peckham Bazaar? It’s not in my neighbourhood. Time to up and leave I say…
Address: 119 Consort Rd, London SE15 3RU
Tuesday 6 – 12
Wednesday 6 – 12
Thursday 6 – 12
Friday 6 – 12
Saturday 12:30 – 12
Sunday 12:30 – 10
LAST VISITED FEB 2013