It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year At This Peckham Grill Restaurant

Coal Rooms ★★★★☆

By Lydia Manch Last edited 6 months ago

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It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year At This Peckham Grill Restaurant Coal Rooms 4

The time's right for a revisit to Coal Rooms.  

Londonist was last at the ex-ticket-office-turned-grill-restaurant more than a year back, and phrases like 'remarkable things' and 'ballsy mains' were thrown around. A lot's changed during that time — including an updated menu and a newly-launched Christmas feasting menu — but we can't argue with any of our previous praise.

The space is beautiful, the faint memory of its ticket office past — tiling, arched windows and some of the loveliest bathrooms we know of in a London restaurant — mingled with the incredible smell of its charcoal-grill present.

Though they've recently revamped the menu, they're still playing the greatest hits. The sourdough with smalec — a Polish lard spread — we start with is so creamily, saltily rich that it's like a gauntlet thrown down, daring you to finish it with an entire dinner still left to tackle. The Peckham Fatboy's another menu staple — a side of hash brown, raclette, beef fat mayo and fried onions, compressed into something as moreish as it is dense.

Arguably the festive season is the best time to visit Coal Rooms, partly because food this rich — like the smoked goat sausages, intensely smoky and intensely goaty — really comes into its own when the mercury plummets.

The other reason to visit at this time of year is because of the newly launched Christmas Feasting Menu, which comes in vegetarian and vegan versions. Our one beef with the lovely Coal Rooms is that the smoky, lard-draped richness of the a la carte dishes — individually spectacular — can become a bit... relentless. Chorizo tacos, zingy with pink pickled onions, are the nearest our dinner comes to a bright, palate-resetting dish. The a la carte menu isn't nearly as strong on vegetable options as on smoky, glorious meat — the only vegetarian main on the evening we visit is a (beautifully) coal-roasted cauliflower, covered in an oddly sweet, lemon curd-like sauce.

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Lunch @coalrooms. Been meaning to get here for ages and loved it 💥 Loved the Peckham Fatboy: hash brown, raclette, beef fat mayo and onions, and the beef pastrami tacos with pickled red cabbage and Russian dressing were ace. Also though pairing burrata with kosho and burnt pickled jalapeños was inspired. Loved the sharpness against the creaminess. Less keen on the buck rarebit crumpet with confit egg yolk, matchstick potatoes & pickled walnuts. Texturally it was great but it tasted of very little. And I'd probably pass up on the millionaire's shortbread next time - too sweet for me - and opt for the lovely-looking pastries in their cafe instead. Overall I loved it and can't wait to go back. Peckham is probably my favourite place for food at the moment 💟

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So the feasting menu's ticking a lot of boxes for us. The chance to go to Coal Rooms in a group and order in proportions of, say, one vegetarian version to three carnivorous ones? It'll be like all our Christmasses have come at once.

The Coal Rooms feasting menu starts at £35 a head for four courses, and the Christmas feasting menu starts at £40 a head.

Coal Rooms, Peckham Rye station, 11 Station Way, SE15 4RX.

Last Updated 17 December 2018