Pedler – Peckham’s Gin-Soaked Gem of a Restaurant
The whispers are getting louder: the Peckhaissance is happening!
Pedler is the latest addition to Peckham’s growing list of unmissable cultural, culinary and cocktaily (?) delights.
Little Bird Gin owner Taskin Muzaffer has struck gold again with this great brunch, lunch, dinner and cocktail spot a short stroll from Peckham Rye Station.
First impressions are good. The space is cosy and congenial, tastefully decorated and invitingly warm and embracing. A large moose’s head adorns one wall (nodding towards the toilets – a handy way-marker), and the kitchen twinkles with industry at the far end.
The tapas-style menu, which changes daily, showcases seasonal produce prepared and presented in imaginative ways. Executive Chef Gareth Crosby clearly knows his flavours and what to do with them – the Cauliflower & Chickpea Fritters were delicately spiced, nestled on a bed of leaves dressed with a complimentary lemon kale pesto, and the Griddled Squid, cooked to perfection, came perched atop a warm salad of spiced potatoes and olives.
And the meat – oh, the meat! This wouldn’t be Peckham without fried chicken, and Pedler did not disappoint: Frizzle Chicken, boneless and mind-meltingly moist within a crisp (Colonel Who?) coating, sat upon a perfect, golden square of polenta. Meanwhile, slices of slow-roasted Flock & Herd Lamb, cooked with the love and care that such a gorgeous piece of meat deserves, arrived atop a pile of exquisitely seasoned winter veg.
The most expensive plate on the menu (the lamb – £14) could easily satisfy a diner averse to sharing – just add a couple of sides (some sautéed spinach, perhaps). The real joy of the Pedler menu, though, is that of ordering a couple of dishes per person and delving in to each dish as it comes. The kitchen turns out the food when it’s ready – so a couple of cocktails, a plate of charcuterie, and a handful of dishes from the menu should keep you happily munching for an hour and a half of gastronomic joy.
Oh, and those cocktails: Little Bird Gin, rightfully, dominates – from the Perfect G&T (the huge slice of pink grapefruit only dwarfed by the huge tumbler!) to the on-the-money Barrel Aged Negroni.
The wine list is good too – rosé wine quaffers, fear not, the one rosé available is excellent.
And then there’s desert. The Blood Orange Polenta Cake could possibly (just possibly) have been a little moister. Just a tiny bit. But the Bread & Butter Pudding… words cannot truly do justice to this thing of beauty. Suffice to say: crispy, chewy, soft, moist, perfect.
On a cold, windy January evening in darkest Peckham, Pedler was packed to the rafters. The food, drink, attentive waiting staff and convivial atmosphere combined for that perfect cocktail – the one you never want to end.