Peckham Cellars has opened and is the latest addition to the strip of restaurants, cafes and bars close to Queens Road Peckham station. I popped along on Saturday 16th November to sample what was on offer, and I rather liked it.
A little bit about the team first – in short, the team at Peckham Cellars know what they’re doing and draw from their rich collective experience to bring together a smartly curated list of food and wine options, matched with expertise and good taste.
The team are:
- In the kitchen – Helen Hall (ex Spring and Rovi) and head chef Jay Claus (previously at Quo Vadis, Morito and Bao)
- Front of house – Luke West-Whylie, previously at Marcella in Deptford and The Jones Family Project
- Wines – Ben McVeigh, former Head Sommelier at 28-50 Fetter Lane
So, what’s so great about Peckham Cellars?
Well, quite a lot. It’s a cosy space with around 20 covers seated at tables, and a further 24 or so standing at bar tables. Simply designed, the glass walls contain wooden topped tables with mid-century curved back chairs and bar stools which glow under stripped back, unobtrusive lighting. The kitchen is in the main space, alongside the bar. Loos are shared by everyone, spotless and nicely designed with a separate wheelchair accessible loo also available (Peckham Cellars is wheelchair accessible incidentally).
Food and drink
We had a tasting menu (pictured below with wines as listed). This presented samples of pretty much everything on the menu, paired with excellent if less well-known European wines. The results were universally spot on, composed of quality ingredients finished to a high standard and with a balance of flavours which recalled the Mediterranean and Iberian Atlantic.
Marmite Butter – a revelation as it spread unctuously over good sourdough bread, it’s savoury flavour sweetening the petillant Roc Ambulle. Then, as a surprise, we were slipped a small plate of smoked eel, with nduja and topped with pickled green tomatoes – umami deliciousness all in one with the Roc Ambulle adopting a sharper, fruitier edge in concert. The Rabbit and Pork rillette parcels were a delight, crisp crumb giving way to savoury meat, cut and complemented by the lardo mayo to smooth it down.
The iron bark pumpkin was a delight, and dressed with a smoky, metallic spinach which cut through the squashy sweetness. The pistachio crumb sardines are a new legend ready to light to up your life – and together they and the exquisite Spanish Atlantic Albarino’s saline notes spiralled and twisted together beautifully.
Onglet with Colston Basset (stilton), perfect roast potatoes, harissa and aioli was truly uplifting, soft, yielding, meaty but with a savoury Stilton undertow, dizzyingly immediate top notes from harissa and aioli, smoothed with soothing chard – the flinty Poycelan Gamay packed a fruity punch to cut through, but with a shale like quality which matched the flavours; my fellow diner had ‘Velvet’ an Austrian Pinot Noir style red, with immediate fruit on the nose and an almost bitter dry quality to it, again a perfect match.
Dessert was a sublime chocolate tart, firm and dark but far from bitter and, even though I’m not a fan of chocolate and orange (even less so Chocolate and mint), the shavings of orange rind here lifted the tart to new heights.
We were fed and watered generously.
I didn’t ask for the price, but having since checked the menu, it’s about what I expected and I imagine if you went expecting to drop between £40 to £60 per person for a treat (which would include some wine), you wouldn’t come away disappointed.
It’s not cheap, but it’s not expensive either. It is very good though.
Check out the Peckham Cellars menu
And to find out more about Peckham Cellars, check their website or just give them a call and try them out.
125 Queens Road, Peckham, London, SE15 2ND
Tue – Thu, 4pm – 11 pm
Fri – Sat, 11:30 am – 01:00 am
Sun – 11am – 4pm