Get a slice of The Beautiful Pizza Boy action in Peckham
Long time followers of our blog will know that we pride ourselves on telling it like it is. If a bar fails to blow us away, or a restaurant experience leaves us feeling fatigued instead of full up, we are only too happy to share our findings with our followers. Sure, we have a handful of places that can do no wrong in our eyes, but if they ever did slip up we wouldn’t hesitate to call them out on it.
Pedlar is one of those places that continues to blow us away, from bustling weekend brunches and hearty Sunday lunches to intimate Friday date nights, we always walk away fromthis Peckham Rye restaurant’s kitsch interior with a big smile on our faces. We are also very enthusiastic when it comes to the team’s Little Bird gin, which makes a Saturday wander along Maltby Street Market all the better for being slightly fuzzy around the edges.
But we were determined not to let this fandom colour our judgement when checking out these guys’ latest offering – The Beautiful Pizza Boy – in the posh part of Peckham (Bellenden Road). However, thanks to its pizza and antipasto menu (ok, Italian cheese and cured meat boards, as well as four solid side dishes) and stellar cocktails, not to mention very funky fit out, we were soon putty in the boy’s hands.
The room is nice along long with sloping ceiling and skylights which will come in handy come summertime. Bifold doors towards the back must open into what I can only imagine is a terrace. It’s very nicely lit with fairy lights, candles, lamps and up-lights highlighting the vaulted beams. The music is bangers of Motown classics that remind me of when I was at university and every Sunday night the Smooth Radio show and me thinking “oh God, I’m bout to have another week of this bullshit”. It was all this kind of music and now I just find it so comforting. I’m in a much better place now.
It’s really quite a similar set up to Pedler but here the front bar really dominates and the kitchen is mid way down. Think less twee than Pedler and taking a step towards modern sensibilities. The cocktails coming out of the bar are really good and great value for around £7. We kicked off with a Negroni.
Without a doubt the wood-fired pizzas are the stars of the show, and while some of the toppings are slightly more adventurous and varied than your average Napoli offering (fennel sausage, hen’s egg and pancetta offer the ultimate hangover cure in the Breakfast Pizza), you’ll find old reliables done really well. Think capricciosa, diavola margherita, calzone…. We went for the Diavola (£9.00) topped with nduja, tomato, spicy salami and mozzarella. My photo file cracked so please trust me that is was absolutely spot on!
The cheese plate (a selection of three formaggi served with grapes, peach marmalade, ciabatta and breadsticks) and the meat plate (hand-sliced salumi with pickles and artichokes) represent great value for money with generous serves for two (£8) or four (£15) people.
Sides we felt were a little more hit and miss, but forgivable after a couple of the affordable and inventive cocktails. It’s always good to get a few bits on the side. The courgette and taleggio arancini was nice and dense but not a heavy dense that you sometimes get with arancini that are just full of rice and pretty much nothing else. The sauce it was perched in was a nice and spicy aioli which helped add a bit of moisture to the dish. I could have done with a bit more cheese and courgette flavour in there to knock my socks off.
Tempura aubergine with Peckham honey and pine nuts. This plate split us – I really like it but the other half didn’t appreciate the tempura style batter it was in. I think it worked as it gave the whole dish a texture that wouldn’t had been there – and then might have fallen into line with why I don’t order aubergine – but this element lifted it up in my opinion. And the Greek / Italian flavours of the honey and pine nuts really worked well.
Dessert came in the form of boozy tiramisu. It wasn’t sopping wet and was able to hold its shape with each spoonful. This is a nice mouthful of wet booze and espresso soaked sponge fingers – and I think I could taste a bit of Cointreau which added a punch of citrus.
Service was excellent – attentive and on point the whole time. Without a doubt I will be back for pizza and cocktails. I’d come back here over Theo’s Pizza (review here
) any day of the week for the atmosphere, cheaper cocktails and I think the pizzas were definitely at a higher standard. It’s just a much nice ambience in The Beautiful Pizza Boy when there’s just so many pizza places in South East London but if this is the shape of things to come – I’m all for it!
Drinks & dinner from 5pm Tuesday to Friday
Brunch, lunch, dinner and drinks from 10am on Saturdays and Sundays.