With dashings of fun and lashings of maple salted whipped butter, Pedler leapfrogged to the top of the list of my all-time favourite brunches.
On the up and up, Peckham is too near home for me not to have ventured into yet and with delicious looking venues sprouting up left, right and centre, it’s well worth a visit. Pedler has been top of the list for some time, a sentiment shared by my fabulously foodie flat mate so we booked in for brunch… obviously!
Pedler has curb appeal covered. I’m always a sucker for some decorative tiles… The interior is no less charming. Justifiably jostling with people, Pedler was filled with the chatter of cheery customers. At first glance everything looks sleek and sophisticated without being cold and unwelcoming but with each passing minute you clock onto some new quirky design feature that brings with it a smile. Vegetable light shades just one, the pineapple upholstery on the bar stools another, which also make a nice nod to the restaurant’s logo, or the hundreds and thousands atop the dumpkins on the counter. They’ve hit the sweet spot; infinitely chic but simultaneously playful. This restaurant doesn’t take itself too seriously which is delightfully refreshing.
It’s rare I actually make it to any restaurant without a clear idea of what I intend to order. This was one of those odd occasions. I absolutely did mull over the menu online, of course I did, but I couldn’t pick out a winner which I admit, I was a little unnerved by. Lots of things sounded nice but nothing stole my attention. I needn’t have worried. The savoury or sweet dilemma was eliminated as we both resolved to share a chocolate and banana frenchie for “dessert” and, not only that, we agreed upon a portion of toast to ensure a taste of the famous maple salted whipped butter. These decisions left room for me to choose the confit duck rosti, mushroom gravy and poached egg and for my friend to put the benedict, valley smokehouse bacon, spring greens and hollandaise to the test.
Oh and a note on the cocktails. They’re almost as widely praised as the food so we dabbled with an early bird martini – little bird, orange marmalade, cointreau & pink grapefruit. Deceptively small served up in little, crystal goblets they add something reminiscent of old world glamour to proceedings. That and a serious kick of alcohol. I would have been wary of a second, put it that way!
Food was served. All too often in new-age cafés the crockery is carefully calculated to be “casually mishmashed” but conveniently still beautifully coordinated but here the serving plates, sugar spoons, everything, feels genuinely hodge-podge and all the more endearing for it. Enough about the plates, what was on them was far more comment worthy. Terrifically solid brunch fare, the confit duck was a generous portion and the mushroom gravy, delicious. I’d venture possibly not for everyone first thing in the morning but scrumptious none the less. The benedict was on a par and doused in particularly good hollandaise.
What I didn’t predict was the star of the show – toast. Sweet with currents, it was the runaway favourite that was sky rocketed to a whole new level by the signature maple salted whipped butter. No picture can tell the story of this unassuming, fluffy dollop, so I urge everyone to go and try it. Take it from a person who generally doesn’t like toast all that much, I would make the pilgrimage across South London again just for that.
To the surprise of our waitress, we had room for more so placed our order for a portion of the chocolate and banana frenchie with salted nuts and mascarpone. This dish bears a sufficiently adult sounding description but is one that’s guaranteed to satisfy every yearning of the child inside you. Warm, silky sauce kisses soft banana and pillow-y sweet bread. The mascarpone is absolutely key and the nuts, although somewhat lost in a mouthful, if you get them on their own are wonderful. The only thing we couldn’t manage, sadly, was to taste a dumpkin. Next time it is.
If you can be restrained enough not to order in the quantities we did, portion aren’t ‘stuff yourself silly sizes’ so you need not leave too comatose to make the most of the rest of your day. Equally, if you’re in the market for a little bit of a splurge, prices are magnificently reasonable so there’s no danger you’ll plunge into penury even if you start the day in lavish style.
The verdict was unanimous. We love this place. As I said, it is now vying for top spot with the likes of Salon in Brixton. Dare I say it, the halo of yesterday maybe edging ahead in my mind for now. Very yummy, unpretentious and fabulous value, Pedler triumphs on all fronts and I’ll think of it fondly until I return, sometime soon no doubt.