Coal Rooms, not to be confused with The Coal Shed by Tower Bridge, is a new restaurant in the former ticket office at Peckham Rye train station.
It’s a really gorgeous space set into three sections; a cafÃ©/bar in the entrance, a dining room out the back and counter seats over looking the kitchen in the middle. The latter is definitely the funnest option.
Being a Grade II listed building the old gents toilets are now communal and there are plants in the urinals as a polite reminder they are no longer in use. It’s strangely beautiful.
The menu features gutsy meat and fish dishes cooked on their bespoke charcoal grill. The portion sizes are mahoosive. Sometimes too much. Even for me. A little refinement would improve things I feel.
Flavour at least is as big as the portions. We start with a rich and decadent smoked pigs head blood pudding (Â£5). The sharp apple ketchup cuts through the fat brilliantly.
A thick wedge of breadcrumbed Old Spot, or pork ‘scrumpet’ (Â£10), is impressively tender and moist considering its size and the time it would have needed in the deep fat fryer.
Smoked Gabrito goat neck (Â£10) sits in a thick, rich, goaty gravy. On its own it’s a bit repetitive but mixed with a side of ‘Peckham Fatboy’ (that’s roast potatoes with Raclette and onions drenched in beef fat mayo) and it’s most enjoyable.
Charred purple sprouting brocoli (Â£5) offers light relief from the meat sweats. They have a lovely smoke from the grill and they’re not overcooked so retain texture.
We’re stuffed but can’t resist the millionaire shortbread (Â£6). It comes in a takeaway coffee cup filled with the most glorious brown butter caramel and rapeseed oil shortbread along with waste milk barista ice cream. It’s a cracking pud.
As we waddle out of Coal Rooms and take the 22 minute train to London Bridge it’s a reminder that dinner in Peckham is not too faffy at all. And if you live in Peckham, you lucky thing, then this is definitely one for the top of your list.
Would we go back? Yes.
We dined as guests of the restaurant