A cosy modern European joint in Newington Green.
Is there a restaurant equivalent of hygge – that vogueish label for a simple, cosy, Scandi way of life? If so, I think I might have found it at Perilla, a massively welcoming and creative new spot in Newington Green, that sits in a space last occupied by a very un-hygge kids’ party venue. There’s nothing Scandi about the food here, which is broadly Anglo-European and offers fresh, uncomplicated spins on familiar dishes, with interesting top-notch ingredients. But the vibe at Perilla, which started life as pop-ups in Dulwich and Clapton, is so immediately soothing, unsnobby and stylish in a homely way, that you might forget that it’s not Copenhagen, but the dreary bottom end of Green Lanes on the other side of the restaurant’s massive greenhouse-style windows.
Gone are the bright colours and hyperactivity of the old place. In their stead is an airy space full of understated wooden furniture, a few plants, exposed beams and soothing candles burning on each table. The food – simple but creative – is served by youngish men and women who really know their stuff but meet you at your own level of knowledge and enthusiasm. I loved it.
It was Sunday lunchtime when I visited, and only some of the Tuesday-Saturday tasting menu (£38 for five fixed courses) was available. These dishes were mixed in with some Sunday specials, including an excellent half roast poussin with leek and crushed potatoes, and a more straightforward plate of lamb – chunks of rack, shoulder and leg – with a good accompanying ratatouille and seaweed pesto. Things started well and stayed that way. Seaweed bread brushed with roasted lamb fat was as good as it sounds, and a fish soup with flaked cod, mussels and blood orange was great. Another winning dish was a light and surprising cuttlefish bolognese. The punchline was that there was no pasta in it all; the traditionally stringy bits were actually strands of spindly green monk’s beard.
I’ve walked past Perilla a few times in the early evening since eating there, and each time I’ve seen the friendly staff huddled around the kitchen hatch as a gang, chatting, getting up to speed on the day’s menu, swapping notes, tasting food. That’s the vibe you get from this place: a love of food, a love of sharing it, a total lack of airs and graces and an earthy welcome. Go now: we’re not kidding.
1-3 Green Lanes
|Price:||Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £110.|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
4.7 / 5
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- 4 star:1
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Celebrated my 60th here, 67 down to 2 years!
Vegetarians, pescatarian, meat eaters and toddler all catered for at the same time with delicious and extraordinary food, delicious and moorish. Don't miss the hot bread and wild garlic butter.. ..Thankyou to Ben and his super friendly team!!