Peckham Bazaar

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NOTE: Since this review was written, Peckham Bazaar has reopened as a permanent restaurant. The Time Out Food and Drink Editors

 

You couldn’t make it up: a ‘pan-Balkan’ part-time pop-up in Peckham – set in the elegant, Victorian bones of an old deli – has become a must-go place to eat. The owner, John Gionleka, has cleared out the deli counters to serve delicious dishes inspired by his native Albania, its Balkan neighbours and influences from further afield.

Beneath a kitsch brass-framed photo of a 1970s Iranian pop star, we devoured juicy grilled sweetcorn cobs slathered with smoked chilli and lemon salt butter, and the house special: ‘cured’ egg (soft-boiled, lightly pickled) served with lemon mayonnaise and crudités.

To follow, spatchcocked quail had been marinated in date molasses and yoghurt, infusing both the tender flesh and the delicious blackened and fragrant skin; it arrived with baked beetroot and braised silverskin onions. A simple, grilled pork chop was just as good.

There are also the obvious charms of marinated leg of lamb, roasted on the drum barbecue and served with grilled peppers and aged goat’s cheese. We shared still-warm cardamom and almond cake, accompanied by thick yoghurt and a pool of sticky grapes preserved in red wine syrup with mahleb (an aromatic spice).

Two Greek wines from boutique producers, recommended by the charming sommelier, worked beautifully with the food. The rapturous local reception to this unusual venue means that regular weeknight opening is planned by late autumn 2013.

 

Venue name: Peckham Bazaar
Contact:
Address: 119 Consort Road
London
SE15 3RU
Opening hours: Meals served 6-11pm Thur, Fri; 12.30-10pm Sat, Sun
Transport: Tube: Nunhead or Peckham Rye rail
Price: Main courses £7-£12.50

Average User Rating

4.1 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:8
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:1
LiveReviews|13
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Barbara C

Loveliest place for Balkanese food in London, and perfect for a relaxed Saturday lunch with friends. We covered almost the whole menu between us - from Greek pastrami, meatballs with beetroot and creamy skordalia to cuttlefish with black orzo pasta and red lentils with baba ganoush. Every dish had its own distinct flavour. Was tempted to snatch my daughter's orange and cardamom cake from under her nose while defending my own baklava from her. Service was super friendly and very attentive. The charms of the old Victorian deli still shine through. Great that we live just 15 min from that neighbourhood gem. We can't wait for their outdoor grills when it gets warmer.

Alice

The food is absolutely wonderful. Very original, totally delicious - packed full of flavour, interesting, and unique. The service has been bad both times I've been there. Requesting bread or water several times, kicked off tables with no notification, waiting staff with very little idea about dishes served or wine. The dishes makes it all worthwhile though. If you can find the service amusingly slapdash and charming rather than annoying, it's worth going for the food.

sarah hillier

Avoid it like the plague. V little choice. Main courses were pricey at £15 and all came on small plates. No finesse in terms of dining experience. Hard work trying to get served. Slightly snooty maitr d'h saw him wipe tables with his bare hand. Moved tables around us. We tried to get moved to larger table but told it was booked. Then they moved a party in front of us across there! Freezing cold on account of cooking done outside. Sat on a table by loos on bench seat. Eight of us, including three kids. V uncomfortable. Zero atmosphere. Grotty. Just returned from France where food and dining are an art. This was embarrassing in comparison. Felt like place had been talked up by Dulwich/Peckham glitterati (if it's poss to put those two words together). We felt it was a case of emperor's new clothes, with the owners laughing all the way to the bank. Would rather have gone hungry and given our £80 bill to charity.

Sarah

Positives:delicious food and they gave us tap water without us having to ask Negatives: 1) I used the online form to try to book a table and no one ever got back to me. 2)It's freezing cold - the serving staff leave the door open the whole time as they go backwards and forwards to the grill, 3) The portions are tiny! Frankly if I'm paying upwards of £12 for a dish then I want more food, 4)The service was really poor - we waited ages for our food, we had to ask twice for bread (desperate for something to fill us up since there the dishes were so small!) 5)The whole place looks terribly scruffy- on the wall, a sign on the wall proudly proclaims that it isn't a pop-up but it definitely feels like it! It's not a cheap restaurant so it would be nice to eat in surroundings that match the price of the food! On the whole,this place feels like it's trying to get away with poor service and tiny portions because it thinks it's trendy.

Jessica Payne

We booked a table for 2 in this restaurant weeks in advance and were very excited to go. Imagine our disappointment when we arrived last night only to be shown to what was essentially a small sideboard next to the toilets with two high stools, which were still completely out of proportion to the 'table'. When we pointed out that, unlike all the other couples who had normal tables, this was clearly not meant for people to eat dinner at but instead provide a place for spare condiments, the waitress helpfully pointed out that they didn't normally use it, or at the worst it was used as a 'waiting area'. However- hey, they were fully booked so... If it wasn't in the middle of nowhere we would have gone somewhere else instantly, but there was nothing else to do but hope for the best. We sat down to eat and were assured we would have another table as soon as one became available. However when one did free up it was given to a new couple entering the restaurant, and we were told that they had blithely assumed as we had finished our mains that we probably wouldn't want it. Looking at our shocked expressions they were moved to finally offered one complimentary pudding to share, which seemed rather meagre when looked at against the cost of the entire bill which was £60 plus. Although the staff produced some tasty food the fact that they would rather have an extra cover by seating people at a sideboard literally elbow to elbow with people queuing for the bathroom suggests a willingness to make money over providing a pleasurable eating experience for their patrons. Avoid unless you want to run the risk of the same.

Anna

I am a local and have struggled to find a restaurant in the area which I would like to visit on a regular basis, now I can't wait until the weekend comes around for my next visit to Peckham Bazaar. Wonderful staff, delicious food and pleasant atmosphere, what more could I ask for?

Zoe Donkin

My dad told me about Peckham Bazaar. Thank you dad. Everything we put in our mouths was delicious, my toddler couldn't get enough of the fish, my husband made unrepeatable noises over the lamb and I am still dreaming about the pudding. Back there this Saturday... Bazaar... please never leave Peckham

Pascale

Delicious, a real gem. We tried one of everything and found it difficult to rate anyone dish above another. The grouse was a special treat and the stuffed tomato great. Especially wonderful were the carefully chose accompaniments with each dish.

ray

food to die for and in peckham of all place i could not believe it.

Sophie

I don't really want to tell you how good this place was, and how delicious the food was. I want to keep it a secret. Because I'm going to be mighty fed up when we can't get a table because the rest of London is eating here!

Foodie K

The Peckham Bazaar came highly recommended and definitely didn't disappoint. The octopus and lamb were the true highlights - the octopus was juicy, fresh and the charcoal from the bbq left a deliciously sweet aftertaste. The lamb, succulent and oozing with flavour. Great wine too, as recommended by the friendly owner. Whilst playing a recent game of top 5 dishes I've had over the past year, Peckham Bazaar made it's way into spots 1 and 2. Think that says it all really!

NJS

Peckham Bazaar is *great* - not just a welcome addition to the neighbourhood, but a destination in its own right. Although the menu reads like simplicity itself, each dish is brilliantly executed, supported by an army of robust homemade stocks, sauces and some very particular grilling. Well researched and bursting with passion - Ottolenghi might want to look over his shoulder.