I’ve got this mate called Guy who is the perfect human being. He’s one of those all-rounders who nails absolutely everything he tries his hand at – even table tennis. Who the hell is really good at table tennis? Guy is. Nights out with him are fun – borderline ‘wild’ – but he still has a polite, welcoming manner (like that really posh blonde dude from the nature shows) which has my Mother swooning every time Guy kisses her on her the cheek and gives her flowers. Nice one, Guy. Everyone loves him – the hype surrounding Guy is infectious. “Man, Guy really is one in a million, I remember when he volunteered at that animal sanctuary on his birthday, even though he’d broken both his legs. That’s so Guy…” He’s also really, really ridiculously good looking. Basically, Guy is flawless and everyone knows a Guy, right?
Would it make sense to you lot, knowing all of that, if I told you that we recently ate …in Guy? We tell you about places in London worth knowing about, right? Well, we’re basically about to introduce you to a restaurant we’ve discovered which, if it were human, it’d be God-Damn-Freaking-GUY. It was perfect, in every way, so let us allow your friendship with this restaurant begin…
Pedler is a restaurant in Peckham Rye. It enjoys producing ridiculously good food and is a bit obsessed with making sure its diners have an amazing eating experience with them. London has exceptional taste, high standards and loves going out to eat and/or drink on a regular basis.
You two are gonna get on like a house on fire.
Let me tell you a little bit more about, Pedler. Basically, we met because like Guy, Pedler is also well-loved and we were introduced to Pedler by, well, the national press. Having only opened in December 2014, they’re already making a seriously good impression on journalists everywhere, just as our Guy works his magic on your Mum. Pedler has had more hype than you’d ever dare to imagine which, sometimes, can have a bit of a negative impact. Highly praised restaurants can too-often become sloppy, rest on their laurels and ride that happy wave of positivity until their reputation crashes as a result of not pushing themselves to maintain those standards. Not Pedler.
We arrived outside this little restaurant which lies quietly in between brightly lit hairdressers and neon-signed newsagents, to find ourselves smiling before we’d even walked through the door. The exterior involves a quaint little window seat area which invites you to chill-hang on cushioned wicker baskets whilst admiring all the cool little artefacts. It’s like a little living room …on the outside of the restaurant and it really works. Y’know? The interiors of Pedler are also effortlessly cool and, much to my delight, innovative. The owners obviously decided against working from that popular dog-eared library book called ‘How to Interior Design a Trendy-Looking London Venue for 2015’ which everyone seems to be working from these days. I mean, of course this place had the classics like exposed brick – they’re not idiots. But add to that wicker stools, 80’s pineapple fabrics, giant hollowed-out shell lampshades and upcycled furniture pieces.
Moving inside, we received probably the warmest greeting we’ve ever had when going to dinner anywhere –even more so than last time we went home to my parents’ for a Sunday Roast. That’s because behind every good restaurant, there’s a good team of people, as that old cliché which I just made up goes. I refer to Pru; Front of House Meeter-and-Greeter, part-owner, manager and probably one of my future bridesmaids. Too far? Don’t care. She’s super-passionate about Pedler, she genuinely cares about your experience, she’s super-friendly and really attentive without being overbearing and annoying. The chef could have cooked us up a Pop Tart with beef gravy and we’d still have loved the place, thanks to Pru.
However, obviously it goes without saying that the food here is key. I could be sat dining in P Diddy’s crib whilst being serenaded by the man himself but if the food’s rubbish, I wouldn’t recommend that experience to you lot. Luckily, the food absolutely knocked our cottons off and we found ourselves excitedly tucking into an array of little dishes and loved every single one. Pedler operate a small-plate style menu which we’re always massive fans of. Tom and I love nothing more than to share our- sorry, rather, Tom loves nothing more than to share his food with me, so to have lots of little dishes for us both to tuck into is golden. We worked our way through some of the best food we’ve had in recent months which included Crispy Chill Duck Leg with Rice Noodles, their very own Frizzle Chicken, Sticky Treacle Short Rib and Broccoli Bhajis. Every dish was expertly executed with perfect combinations of fantastic flavours and textures which married together so well. You need to try one of the teeny Toad in the Holes and Lard-y-dahs (scratchings) which are incredible. It’s the small touches that make Pedler a firm favourite.
Pru nipped over for a post-chow chat and was telling us about her staff and chefs at Pedler. Probably the most impressive aspect of the entire restaurant was what she then told us: they change their food every-single-day. No, seriously. Just as I was about to congratulate her on well-practised menu options which had obviously been honed to perfection, she blew my mind with her chef’s daily spontaneity. How the hell is it even possible to produce food that good after less than a day’s practise? Guy. That’s how. I mean, this is Guy all over.
We sat and reflected on our whole evening whilst sipping on their ultimate G&T, which was beautifully strong and came with a gloriously fat wedge of pink grapefruit. Of course it did. We got this place. We could see what was going on here. Basically, you can try and be the best at something, you can apply yourself, learn a craft, tap into trends, become an expert. But wherever you go in life, there’ll always be those who can just do all that stuff without really trying. You’ve guessed that I’m talking about the Guys of this world – and now we include Pedler in that bracket too. Like Guy, they ticked every box, they passed every exam, they remembered all their pleases and thank-yous and they probably get inundated with birthday cards from adoring fans once a year. Don’t hate them for it, they can’t help being this perfect. Just promise us you’ll go and introduce yourselves to their daily-changing menu and welcoming atmosphere – who knows, maybe some of their perfection will rub off.
Some photographs courtesy of Media Wisdom.