Thursday, 2 June 2016

Pedler Peckham Rye: restaurant review

Have you ever been to a restaurant where the broccoli is the best part of the meal? That's not to discredit our recent trip to Pedler in any way -- the food was all exceptional -- but when you roll out of a restaurant, stomach completely full, and it's the broccoli you're talking about, that's worth a mention, no?

Set on Peckham Rye, Pedler specialises in smaller sharing dishes - not quite small enough that I'd call it tapas, but three to four dishes plus a couple of sides is plenty for two people. Actually, it's more than plenty, and leaves no room for dessert. Bad move.

We cracked on with the bread basket to start with, which in hindsight we could have done without, but it came with Marmite butter, which had me intrigued from the off. 

By the time I got round to photographing the broccoli, most of it had already gone. Sorry about that.
That'd barely touched the sides before our other dishes started arriving as and when they were ready: spicy meatballs, frizzle chicken, beef dripping chips and the now-famous tempura broccoli. To be honest, we'd only ordered the broccoli in a half-hearted nod to our health -- and because the menu said it would be purple, and I'm easily intrigued (remembered the Marmite butter).

We kicked off with a cocktail - yes, that's an actual flower on top.
Purple the broccoli was not, but we'd forgotten it was meant to be, because it was so darn delicious. Crunchy, crispy, and completely bereft of that healthy taste that usually taints broccoli, we'd almost guzzled it completely before remembering that we had other dishes that required our attention.

The fizzle chicken and spicy meatballs are the ultimate comfort food - meaty, cheesy, saucy, nicely spicy. Definitely decent, but our hearts were with the broccoli at this point.

So Pedler's great but the, er, cosy atmosphere means it's not the place for a first date, or a private conversation. 

While we're on that, a note to all restaurants: a three inch gap does not two separate tables make. It's a trend I've been noticing for a while and I'm not a fan. I get that squeezing as many people in as possible is key for your profits, but having to ask the person on the next table to stand up just so that I can get out to the toilet makes me feel like I'm on an aeroplane. And we all know how popular aeroplane food is. 

The menu changes daily at Pedler, as they use all fresh ingredients. If the broccoli's not on the menu when you get there, bad luck. Console yourself with a cocktail or two.

Pedler, 58 Peckham Rye, SE15 4JR

Apologies for the awful photos you see before you. Low-lighting rules at Pedler - great for creating an atmosphere, not so helpful for those of us trying to photograph the offerings. That, and I was too busy stuffing my face with food to focus on my focus.

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