08 December 2014

A New Restaurant on Peckham Rye: Pedler Review

Update (July 2021): Pedler closed permanently in 2021, but has now relaunched on Queens Road, Peckham as Pedler Good Fortune.

I've always wanted to go to a restaurant and order everything on the menu and yesterday I got the chance. A group of friends and I went to Pedler, a new neighbourhood eatery on Peckham Rye, which was having its soft launch at the weekend.

The menu, which changes daily, wasn't especially long yesterday, but between the five of us, we managed to order one of every dish — apart from the cheese course. This was particularly easy to do as they were offering 50% off food and drink during the soft launch.

Pedler is the sister restaurant of the south-London distillery Little Bird Gin, which produces amazing cocktails at Maltby Street every weekend. I had hoped Pedler would be open in time for my birthday last month, but they weren't quite done. Ahead of their official launch tomorrow, they were doing a few trial runs at the weekend. Not that you would know they were trial runs, given that the food and service were both great.

After a quick read of the cocktail menu, I had settled on the SE15 Collins, which involved mahonia syrup — sourced from locally foraged berries — but they had already run out. Instead, I tried the Early Bird Martini (Little Bird gin, marmalade, cointreau and pink grapefruit), which was deliciously tart and citrusy. Later, I ordered an Aviation, which came complete with an air-mail sticker (a cute, Instagrammable touch). Of course, the Maltby Street Marys were also available and as spicy and flavoursome as ever. The cocktails are all £6–8, which is very reasonable for the quality.

There were three starters (£6–8), two featuring gin, and we sampled them all. The Little Bird gin wings were probably my favourite — so juicy and junipery! — but the tempura cauliflower was probably the best cauliflower I've ever had, and the seafood cocktail with bloody mary-rose sauce was also very tasty.

We also ordered all four of the mains between the five of us. My favourite was the whole lemon roast chicken (£32), which was big enough for two or three people to share. I'm not normally a huge fan of pork, but the kola-glazed pork loin (£16) was juicy and really flavoursome — the glaze was delicious. The beef rump (£16) was also cooked perfectly. The only let-down was the soy-charred hispi cabbage (£12), which was tasty but not much of a main course — especially for vegetarians for whom it was the only choice. Luckily, we didn't have any veggies in our group, and as all of the mains came with plenty of roast potatoes, sprouts, carrots and Yorkshire puddings. The roasties, in particular, were excellent.

We really didn't have any room for pudding and yet...puddings seemed to arrive on the table. I shared sticky toffee pudding with stracciatella ice cream with one of my friends. I think our pudding was probably the winner, although the bitter chocolate délice with mandarin sorbet also looked great.

All in all, we had a fantastic meal. The staff were friendly, helpful and efficient and the food and drink was great. Pedler is also beautifully, creatively decorated. I particularly liked the multicoloured armchairs that sat behind us, the pineapple-cushion-topped bar stools, the teal private dining alcove for groups, and the pendant lights, which were created by a Walworth-based artist and inspired by salad items!

Next weekend, after Pedler is fully open, they will be serving weekend brunch. I can't wait to go back to try the brunch — and that SE15 Collins — and we're already plotting many return visits.

Pedler. 58 Peckham Rye, London, SE15 4JR (Peckham Rye Overground). Website. Twitter.

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