Pan-Balkan neighbourhood restaurant Peckham Bazaar is one of SE15’s shining stars. It’s hugely atmospheric and a genuine feast for the senses, with loud folk music from the region (which stretches loosely from Greece and Turkey up to Croatia and Serbia), plus rustic woods, flickering oil lights and smoke from the open kitchen.
The daily-changing small-plates menu is packed with strong, sunny flavours. We were blown away by the impossibly tender octopus, its herb-flecked flesh nicely offset by strands of pickled red onion and a dollop of creamy roe. Also wonderful: fat courgette-and-feta fritters, served with a thin, garlicky yoghurt, a cigar-shaped pastilla (savoury filled pastry) packed with braised lamb, prunes and pine nuts, and the golden kourkourbines (flat, pan-fried dumplings). The only slight shadow, on an otherwise luminous meal, was an unsmiling (though efficient) waitress: go with a thick skin.