Baldwin Ho trials new Peckham eatery, Aside.
The team behind the Old Spike Roastery has been busy taking over the Peckham dining and drinking scene with a series of stylish, smart looking venues. There is Spike & Earl, which we have reviewed recently and Coal Rooms in the former Peckham Rye train station ticket office, which we hope to visit soon, but the venue we want to discuss is Aside.
As you walk along the heavily-residential Goldsmith Road, you think Google Maps might have malfunctioned again; but trust your instincts. Aside is situated inside a former community centre, which was still in use up to 2012. The decor feels rather spartan inside but in a Nordic, fashionable kind of way, rather than they didn't have any budget. Well, their original parquet floor would have definitely cost a certain amount of money.
You know gentrification of Peckham is continuing apace when you see on a wine menu, a glass of white wine retailing at £11.50, albeit a very elegant and pure glass of Le Clou 34, 2015, Claire Naudin, Burgundy.
We went along for a Sunday lunch and our advice would be to arrive early, as the thirty-five cover restaurant does tend to fill up rapidly once everyone has recovered from their hangovers from the previous evening.
Dishes are generally very vegetarian-friendly at Aside with all four options for the starters, vegetarian dishes on the day of our visit. I opted for trompette, salsify and winter savoury which was served without any pretension. This really exemplifies their dedication to seasonality: all three ingredients are heart-warming, cooked during the winter months. The salsify had a thick skin, but a creamy white flesh on the inside and tasted like artichoke hearts.
My guest opted for the artichoke, ricotta, and mead as a starter; although he felt the ingredients didn't go well together. It was down to personal taste rather than poor execution.
It's hard not to fall in love with a place like Aside, especially when you find out their keen support for local businesses. The meat comes from local, independent butchers Flock and Herd, whilst the vegetables come from Southwark-based Natoora.
Their roast pork belly and roast pumpkin with wild mushroom were both well-portioned main courses served with hispi cabbage, pink fur potatoes and organic carrots. The pork skin was suitably crackling, yet the meat wasn't overly fatty, whilst the pumpkin was well-roasted and soft, but my guest felt the dish could have done with more of a sauce.
To finish off, we were served a luxuriously elegant chocolate mousse with clementine. The mousse itself might be dense and rich, but the presence of the clementine helped to cut through that richness.
Thanks to the Old Spike Roastery team, it looks like we will be trekking down to Peckham a lot more often in 2018.
Make your booking here.
Read more of Baldwin Ho’s restaurant reviews here.
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