Peckham’s seen a wave of pioneering restaurants opening on its more gentrified streets, paving the way for operations in less obvious parts of SE15. Peckham Rye, dominated by minicab companies, money-transfer outposts and hair-weave shops, is an example of less charted dining territory. But Pedler has come and conquered.
The decor has a whiff of the ski slopes about it: with its long bar, battered wooden floors, warm glow, and lettered mirrors, you half expect to see people clunking past in snow boots. The narrow space is crammed with tables – the most atmospheric around the bar, where the team keeps apace with orders from the all-gin cocktail list. There’s also a cute alcove reserved for groups.
The menu offers Modern British dishes packed with seasonal ingredients and well-judged flavours – cases in point were a juicy salad of red (Russian) kale, golden beetroot, blood orange and tart ricotta, and ‘quacking cherries’ (balls of confit duck covered in cherry-flavoured gel to resemble the fruit). Delicately battered gilt-head bream was served with beautifully cooked chips, but two gargantuan lamb chops were a mixed bag – one supremely tender, one tough. For dessert, a delectable nougat parfait mixed gooey meringue with sugared hazelnuts – we ignored the charred pineapple garnish.
Staff are well-versed, efficient, and – in true Peckham style – straightforward in their approach. This neighbourhood restaurant could well tempt outsiders to the Rye.