Friday, 30 December 2016

Peckham's Tastiest Offerings

When I first moved to Peckham, I was intimidated by the absence of a Pret for a 'get-out-the-house-study-break-and-gingerbread-man' or a 40% off Pizza Express Monday night student deal. A couple of years on, I've barely thought about pizza because Peckham is full of wonderful, independent restaurants and an abundance of different cuisines. I cannot claim to be a Peckham eatery connoisseur, primarily because I've discovered two places that I absolutely love and I just want to go there again and again and again. 

Miss Tapas and Mr Bao are not just restaurant goals, but couple goals. Imagine being a total Peckham power couple, and having constant access to the best food in the area? I think that's the dream. 

I discovered Miss Tapas about 18 months ago, because I'm metaphysically drawn to anything resembling tapas. Or ham. I dragged Simon along - a man reluctant to try anything tapas-like because a hates sharing food - and even he was blown away. It became our regular, and we went through a phase of going pretty much once a month. Miss Tapas does teeny tiny restaurant perfectly. It's cosy without being cramped, and sociable without feeling like you're sharing your food with everyone else in the restaurant. The menu changes regularly enough to keep it interesting, but the old favourites remain. I'm not sure what I'd do if I turned up for tapas and there were no patatas bravas. At Miss Tapas you can eat pork that is like no pork you have ever eaten before, or gorge yourself on padron peppers. There's a generous sherry selection (I know nothing about sherry), which makes the perfect after-dinner tipple. I don't think I've ever had enough room for pudding, because we've always filled any remaining space with extra ham/pork/sardines on toast, but it always looks great. I've been to Barcelona, and I've been to Madrid, and I've been all over Mallorca and Menorca, and Miss Tapas is a billion times better than any tapas I've ever had in Spain. Hands down. 

So when Mr Bao opened it's doors, I was keen to go. I didn't know what Taiwanese food was, and baos were a total mystery to my eyes and mouth. And Christ alive, what a magical experience. The only way to describe a bao is a tasty little cloud that rains deliciousness in your mouth. So far we've sampled chicken baos, pork baos and Christmas turkey baos, but I have every intention of heading back and trying out the rest of the menu. There's something about spinach covered in satay sauce, or broccoli dipped in wasabi mayo that makes me wants to eat greens all day every day...and wonder why I ever eat them with any other accompaniment. I left Mr Bao the first time trying to work out how I could replicate all the dishes in my own kitchen, and am well on my way to perfecting my own version of a kind of pork-y, soy-y Asian style bolognese. I left Mr Bao, after a delicious birthday meal last week, full of smore bao (sorry dairy & gluten free diet) trying to work out if I could justifiably just move to Taiwan. 

If you're in Peckham, or South London, or actually just London more generally, head down to Miss Tapas and Mr Bao. They both do lunch and dinner services, so you could have the day of dreams and visit them both. With such delicious offerings on my doorstep, I feel like I'll never need to eat anywhere else...and I'm totally ok with that. 

P.s. this isn't the beginning of a food blogging career. My knowledge and interest in food does not go far beyond 'this tastes good in my mouth', and if I've got time to take fancy photos of my food, it's probably not that great. Just couldn't resist a cheeky mention of these two restaurants that make life in Peckham excellent. 

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