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Wildflower – CLOSED

Restaurants, Vegetarian Peckham
3 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
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Time Out says

Please note, Wildflower has now closed. Time Out Food editors, February 2019.

Is Peckham the new Dalston? Like it or not, the area is definitely hip and walking into Wildflower quietly, calmly confirms this, not least because it’s located in the multi-storey car park-turned-multifunctional cultural space that is Peckham Levels.

Describing itself simply as a ‘vegetarian and vegan canteen’, it’s an open, stylish spot that does recall a canteen (albeit one attached to a graphic design office). But while the room is fairly straightforward, the food is something quite special.

A popular view is that it’s hard to get excited about vegetables. Given that they’re often treated as an afterthought, it’s easy to see why. At Wildflower, however, they’re given appropriate headline treatment in a stellar selection of small plates (split roughly 50/50 between veggie and vegan), via a seasonal, shifting menu. First, though, a word about bread. You should know that Wildflower’s own-baked rosemary focaccia is obscenely good. Fluffy, slightly spongy and almost cake-like, this was bread at its very finest. I never want to eat focaccia that doesn’t taste exactly like this.

The rest of Wildflower’s food is creative, thoughtful and looks pretty – but it’s absolutely not pretentious. I tried four vegan dishes – plus that divine bread – and all were excellent. Harissa-roasted cauliflower was cooked beautifully, with a rich tahini sauce and pomegranate adding sweetness, plus toasted seeds and nuts giving bite. Pink fir potatoes were every bit as delicious, the caramelised shallots in this dish offset by the freshness of mint. Their home-style savoy cabbage didn’t sound exciting on paper, but IRL was pretty great. Crisp leaves were flavoured with black and white sesame seeds, sesame oil and just the right amount of chilli. It was simple, but perfectly executed.

The concept of cheese-less ‘swede fondue’ may outrage some people, but this one turned out to be delicious. God knows how, but it kind of tasted like… cheese (all scandalised comments on a postcard, please). It was superbly savoury, rich and indulgent, accompanied by lightly pickled vegetables and – oh my God – croutons made from more of that beautiful focaccia.

Essentially, everything at Wildflower is pitched just right. The menu is interesting without being esoteric, the atmosphere is buzzy but comfortable (evidenced by a mixed and happy crowd, including families with children on a Saturday night), and the service was excellent. Pay it a visit and remind yourself how damn delicious vegetables can be in the right hands.

 

Details

Address: Peckham Levels
95A Rye Lane
London
SE15 4ST
Transport: Peckham Rye rail
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Users say (1)

3 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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  • 3 star:1
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  • 1 star:0
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Tastemaker

I wanted to love the food. I really did. It’s plated nicely, the staff are friendly and the setting is romantic but also a cool aesthetic. But in the end it’s just not as good as Mildred’s, Snackistan at Persepolis (also in Peckham) and tons of other veg places I’ve eaten at. Also, it’s incredibly deceiving that the menu online is actually just a sample menu (which is not stated). Thus my friend and I were pretty disappointed when we received the printed menu when seated and it was vastly different from the exciting options we saw online. We ended up getting the celeriac remoulade, which the waiter said was his favorite... it was fine. Essentially it was mustard mixed with thin celeriac noodles. I mean, I like mustard, but that’s all you tasted. We then shared the Swede fondue, house pickled veggies and croutons. I liked this very much as the Swede was a bit sweet but also savoury and had the texture of fluffy hummus. The croutons were quite large and a good handful were on the plate and they paired well with the “fondue.” Finally, we shared the mushroom ragu which I really liked. Incredibly savoury. Sharing these three dishes filled us up surprisingly.

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