Kudu is a new opening in Peckham, right by Queens Road Peckham station, from partners Amy Corbin (front of house) and Patrick Williams (head chef). Amy worked in New York for six years in interior design which is quite evident from the gorgeous space.
It’s dark and sexy. There’s an open kitchen with counter seats saved for walk-ins. Some tables for two are positioned so you sit next to each which is always nice. The toilet doors have velvet curtains as does the front door to keep out the cold.
The food is South African inspired. We start with some mighty fine bread, served in a cast iron dish, giving it a light fluffy centre with a crisp, chewy crust. It comes with a giant pot of melted seafood butter with baby shrimp (£6.50). If you left after this you’d feel the journey was well spent.
But it gets better. Fried artichokes (£6) come with miso mayo. They are crisp and oily – worthy of a hangover. Onion and beer tarte tatin (£7.50) is a work of art. The little onions are squidgy, a lovely texture against the crisp buttery pastry.
Pigs head tortellini (£8.50) sit in a bowl of mushroom and hay broth. It’s blends delicacy and richness masterfully.
For main, we share the whole mallard (£30) which is a must order if you’re a duck fan. The meat is gamey and dense in texture; the sign of a good life. There’s some serious flavour going on.
It comes to the table first sitting in a plateful of hay, then returns plated up with broccoli, a few lentils and a creamy, beige sauce which is just enough to bring it all together.
For dessert, we share a pumpkin tart (£5). The pastry is crisp and quite marvellous. There’s some salted caramel for added sweetness. But most intriguing is a charcoal and almond ice cream – which dulls the sugar somewhat. Very clever.
I hope the people of Peckham welcome Kudu with open arms. It deserves to be busy and the little cheffy flourishes, which you usually only find in high-end restaurants, are a welcome addition to somewhere for more casual.
Would we go back? Yes
We dined as guests of the restaurant