Sometimes I curse the fact we live South. The only thing our streets are paved with is Lucozade bottles and Wrigley’s, and it takes seven buses to reach Haymarket. But lately things have started to look up for our endz, with Peckham piquing the interest of people who actually seem to know what the craic is with a saucepan.
To qualify, Frank’s; Peckham Refreshment Rooms and Kerb (the street food mini fest) are all putting in a good word for SE eats. But hey — they’re just the poster boys. Wander a bit further into darkest Peck-nam and you’ll hit Peckham Bazaar. The concept (and yeah, fuck concepts) is that they’ll buy good ingredients and do interesting things with them. You arrive at the most unassuming frontage, and hope for a spot in the yard where the barbecue is.
We sat inside for a while until some outside space came free. The interior’s akin to visiting a new neighbour that hasn’t got round to unpacking — a motley of domestic furniture, used plates and a MacBook Air spinning Spotify tunes. The cat, Bishu, pads around introducing himself. On a balmy evening it’s worth waiting for the patio space.
We had pork souvlaki with pickled carrot salad, fennel and tzatziki to start. Mains were octopus and prawns with a fava bean purée-cum-mash, and a pork and veal meatball. Dukkah and zhatar pinch pots invite liberal sprinkling. Each dish had a subtlety and nuanced flavour that belies the barbecue tag. Here, the punches of protein don’t dominate, rather they hold equal weight with their considered accompaniments.
There’s a buzz about the area that’ll continue to bring in new faces. But for us, Peckham Bazaar is a local treat, more like visiting a friend than a restaurant.