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Monday 19 January 2015

Bonapeti - Pedler - Hop, Burns & Black - Pimlico Fresh

All sorts on the blog today.  Click below to scroll down:  

- Fresh and healthy food for delivery from Bonapeti
- Dumpkins & Attitude Sauce for brunch at Pedler
- Beers, Hot Sauce & Vinyl at Hop, Burns & Black
- All the French Toast for brunch at Pimlico Fresh

This is the time of year for predicting 2015 trends.  Will burgers, ramen & ceviche soldier on? Probably. I don't know. I'm sure we'll know more in a years time so let's discuss it then...

That said, there's been a noticeable rise of late in options for home delivery on all fronts that may lead to a Buzzfeed article here and a Londonist round up there. The likes of Deliveroo and Dine In bring you meals from your favourite restaurants, whilst Marley Spoon & Taste Cocktails provide the quality ingredients but leave you to assemble the finished product.

Today though, I'd like to give a shout out to Bonapeti who are set to launch their nutritious delivery service this week, starting with 40% off normal menu prices and free delivery. 

Call 020 7924 7548 or order online from 20 Jan at  - use code HEALTHY02

Whilst they are based round the corner from me in SW11, they are aiming to deliver their mostly plant-based meals to as many Central, W,NW, and SW London postcodes as possible.  Keep an eye on their website and sign up for more info.

Bonapeti lie somewhere between restaurant quality takeaway and the Marley Spoon model - your meals arrive fully prepared, and simply need to be assembled on the plate, and occasionally heated through in the oven or microwave.  You can order on the same day, or days in advance, with a lot of science going in to keeping everything as fresh as possible on the journey.

Most home delivery food services don't have chefs with cooking experience at the likes of Ottolenghi, The Fat Duck and Terre a Terre.  With Bonapeti, you are in safe hands.  Here's what they have to say:

"Busy London life means you're often tired at the end of the day and find cooking too time consuming, especially when there's a lot of chopping and preparation required for more imaginative healthy dishes.

You're not looking for a diet or detox plan - you simply want to eat good, fresh, nutritious food every day. You want something quick and easy that's tasty, filling and genuinely healthy.

We've got the solution: deliciously wholesome plant-based meals delivered to you, every evening. We do the cooking so you don't have to, and deliver direct to your door at prices that won't leave you feeling guilty about not cooking, or like you could have done it cheaper or better yourself. Whether you use our dishes as a substantial main or tasty side to meat or fish you've prepared is entirely up to you.

Our food is a bold mix of influences taken from all over the Middle East, North Africa and the Mediterranean. Plant-based dishes that are bursting with flavour and colour. Our chefs, some of whom trained under world-renowned Yotam Ottolenghi, bring a wealth of expertise to every single Bonapeti dish.

With none of the sugar, salt, additives or chemicals normally found in prepared meals, these dishes are a great way to enjoy delicious food and achieve a healthy balanced diet.

Plant-based food is naturally low in sugar and fat and eating more of it will help you look good and feel great. And because all our food comes from sustainable sources, it's better for the planet too.

Enjoy mouth-watering home deliveries - without the guilty conscience."

Here are a few shots from some oustanding dishes that I sampled on site:

Baked Kohlrabi with spiced tomato preserve and pumpkin seed Gremolata

Marinated Roasted Beetroot Salad with Puy Lentils, Yogurt, Dill and Pistachios

Marinated Roasted Beetroot Salad with Puy Lentils, Yogurt, Dill and Pistachios

Carrot Salad with Pumpkin Seed Dukkah

Marinated Courgettes, Dried Tomatoes and Walnuts with Parsley Pesto

There are some meat & fish dishes in the pipeline, but I was blown away by the quality of the savoury vegetarian, vegan and raw dishes on show, and I will be going back for more.  The desserts weren't half bad either.

And here are a few items off this week's menu:

- Red lentil, carrot and coriander croquettes with pomegranate molasses
- Tomato and saffron broth with butter beans and charred autumn greens
- Sweet potato Brochettes with red onion and Bahārāt spice chutney
- Almond milk pannacotta, orange flower poached plums

Red lentil, carrot and coriander croquettes with pomegranate molasses - Photo taken from website

Almond milk pannacotta, orange flower poached plums - Photo taken from website

So I suggest you stop working, visit their website and see for yourself; and with 40% off this week, you might as well cancel your dinner plans. Bon Appetit!

BRUNCH. What a great word, or portmanteau rather (that's right Mum, I know some long ones). It's certainly a better creation than cabarenaissance and croissandwich.  (See also: Zonkey and Wholphin)

FACT TIME! My spy in the QI elf department may say otherwise, but Wikipedia tells me that brunch originated in Britain in the late 1800s:

"Instead of England's early Sunday dinner, a postchurch ordeal of heavy meats and savory pies, why not a new meal, served around noon, that starts with tea or coffee, marmalade and other breakfast fixtures before moving along to the heavier fare? By eliminating the need to get up early on Sunday, brunch would make life brighter for Saturday-night carousers. It would promote human happiness in other ways as well. "Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting." Beringer wrote. "It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week."

— William Grimes, "At Brunch, The More Bizarre The Better" New York Times, 1998

I tend to work on the weekends, often missing out on that magical and mysterious meal time, but I have started 2015 as I mean to go on - with lots of brunch, from Pedler to Pimlico Fresh.


Sunday 4th January - Pedler in Peckham Rye is a new all-day neighbourhood joint from the local Little Bird Gin folk.  

If you've been to their charming bar on Maltby Street Market, then the Pedler décor won't surprise you.  I saw someone describe it as having an airy antique yard feel - let's go with that. Although, the odd shape of the site they have inherited means that the design isn't consistent throughout; we were directed towards a secluded booth that lacked the brunch buzz of the main room.

Climpsons & Sons coffee kept us company whilst we tried to decode the menu. Frizzle chicken? Bubble? Dumpkins? Attitude sauce? Gingerella? Lemon on toast? Ok, the last one I can do.  Friendly staff were on hand to explain the rest.

Climpsons & Sons Coffee

Here's what we went for:

- Home Cured Peck'Ham, Ricotta & Sage "French Toastie" - £7
- Frizzle Chicken, Brioche, Parmesan, Attitude Sauce & Pickles - £8
- Banger Sarnie, Red Onion Jam, Coleman's Mustard, Cheddar - £6
- Avocado, Slow Roast Tomatoes, Lemon on Toast - £5
- Wild Mushroom & Kentish Kale Bruschetta, Poached Egg - £7
- Sunday Breakie - Smoked Bacon, Sausage, Slow Roast Tomato, Mushroom, Bubble, Poached Eggs, Toast and Maple Salted Butter - £9

There wasn't much sharing going on, which is usually a good sign.  The "French Toastie" (a toasted sandwich with French toast) received a lot of praise from Jo The Sis, and the Frizzle (fried) Chicken with its spicy "Attitude Sauce" seemed to disappear pretty quickly.  Sunday Breakie could have been better, with inconsistent eggs and maple toast that didn't quite work, but the ball of "bubble" (not squeak) was a nice addition.  The rest were happily dispatched.

We finished off with a large Dumpkin (£2) - a Pedler Doughnut filled with sweet pumpkin cream. The filling was more paste than cream, and the dumpkin was almost cake-like rather than doughy, but it was an enjoyable treat nonetheless.

Wild Mushroom & Kentish Kale Bruschetta, Poached Egg

Frizzle Chicken, Brioche, Parmesan, Attitude Sauce & Pickles

Dumpkin - Pelder Doughnut filled with Sweet Pumpkin Cream

We weren't in a boozy brunch mood, so the familiar Little Bird cocktails (Barrel Aged Negroni, Peck'em Martini, Maltby Mary) didn't get an outing on this occasion, but at £6-8 you can't go far wrong.  

The same goes for the food really.  The Sunday Breakie was the most expensive item on the menu at £9, with everything else around the £7 mark, and on the whole ample portion sizes.  Whilst I've had better brunches, it's early days for Pedler and I imagine it will go from strength to strength.

As we were leaving, the Sunday Lunch dishes were starting to appear, and the roasts looked incredible.  I'll be back for Dr.Pepper Glazed Pig Loin and some Sea Stuff (?).  There's also an entirely separate Lunch & Dinner menu on which I spotted Smoked Salmon with Quiquiriqui Mezcal Butter on Rye (!) amongst other delights.  If they can pull off these quirky dishes, I'm sure you'll be reading a lot more about Pedler soon.  Return visit required.

Since we were already far from home and useful transport, we decided to push on to East Dulwich on foot for some beer.  Our destination was Hop, Burns & Black - a unique shop that focuses on selling beer, hot sauce and vinyl.  Why? Because that's what owners Jen & Glenn are passionate about. Why not?

I've not got much of a heat tolerance, and Spotify is my best friend, so I was here for the beer. They've put together a great collection of bottles and cans from all over the world, though with 78 breweries in London at the latest count, I'm surprised there's room for much else these days.  

I'm on a bit of a smoke and sour binge at the moment, so I picked up a Buxton & Evil Twin Sour Pale, a Wild Beer Co. & Toccalmalto Indigo Child and a Moor Smoked Horyzon.  Paul grabbed himself an intriguing Stone Imperial Golden Stout whilst Luke delved in to the New Zealand section. 

Now here's the twist - you can open them up and drink them on site, without any extra charge for drinking in, just like at my old favourite Dr.Ink of Fulham (way ahead of its time).  Or you can get yourself a flagon (no, we're not calling them growlers, thankyou) and fill it up with fresh beer from their small selection of well-chosen taps (such as the superb Siren / Beavertown / Magic Rock Rule of Thirds IPA collaboration).  It's only a £3 deposit for a flagon - well worth it if you want to show off next time you go to a BYOB restaurant.

If none of Hop, Burns & Black's Holy Trinity float your boat, there's also a fine selection of cider and wine, plus local Volcano coffee beans and hot-sauce friendly snacks.  And even if you aren't a hot sauce & vinyl enthusiast, you'll enjoy a little window shopping.  The hot sauces are particularly entertaining, if a little terrifying.  Go and see for yourself.  It is #tryanuary after all.


Before heading home, we did pop in to The Flying Pig next door which had been on my to-do list for some time.  Sadly, the beer list wasn't quite up to the high standards that have been set by the likes of Mother Kelly's and Beer Rebellion, so we didn't stay long.  If I lived locally I'd make use of it for sure, but it's not worth going out of the way for.  Perhaps their BBQ food is more noteworthy.

The Flying Pig, East Dulwich

Saturday 10th January - Whilst we're talking brunch, I must quickly mention Pimlico Fresh.  It's a cosy little café on Wilton Road, not too far from the wonderful Cask (where we settled afterwards), and the queues for their weekend offering tells you all you need to know.

Grab one of their enticing fresh juices or smoothies on the way in, panic order French Toast at the till, and wait for some space to come up on the communal table in the back.

I'm going to keep this one simple. Get the French Toast.  Sure, there are other delicious things.  Get the French Toast.

Go for Sweet with caramelised banana, cinnamon and creme fraiche, or Savoury with bacon and maple syrup.  I don't care which, just GET THE FRENCH TOAST, ok? Good. I'll see you there. 

P.S. They may well serve it on weekdays too, I was too busy eating to pay attention to anything really.  They don't have a website so just give them a call on 020 7932 0030.

Thanks to Sean, Paul, Francesca & Harriet for convincing me to get the French Toast.

Pimlico Fresh on Urbanspoon

Square Meal


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