The meantime IPA at 750ml for £5.80 is a BARGAIN!!!
Really good food, service and atmosphere. Not the cheapest but you can tell it's good value.
Yes it was packed and quite noisy, yes they did forget one of our dishes, yes it is in Peckham, but I loved this place and plan to return often.
21h40 on a Thursday night "let's try that Begging Bowl place, it is quite late and a Thursday so we should be fine for a table", how wrong we were, the place was rammed full and the only reason we got a table is because a couple that reserved hadn't turned up in time...too bad for them!
Beautiful big solid wood tables, quirky wood panelled walls and a great 'vibe' about it generally. The service was incredible, and there are plenty of waiting staff to attend to you as soon as an issue occurs (most times before it occurs) and it is always with a smile.
The food is Thai tapas, they recommend 4 or 5 dishes for a couple but this is where my lenient stance on forgetting to bring a dish comes into play: the dishes are massive! I always order tapas incorrectly, I always have too much or too little but when we ordered 4 dishes between 2, we were pretty sure we had it right. We forgot to factor in that they give free boiled and sticky rice with the meal, so no need to order that. We only just made it through 3 dishes, when they realised they hadn't sent out our final dish, we begged and pleaded not to bring it out as we were stuffed.
Fantastic place, but judging by how full it was when we went there, it would be worth calling ahead to book, but make sure you turn up on time as it seems they are happy to give away your place to those waiting in the queue at the door if you don't! (and so they should)
The place is quite nice, with a nice variety of what to eat and drink. I liked the spacious placement of the tables and comfortable chairs around them. The spot certainly has its unique atmosphere and that drives a lot of customers all the time.
The location is great and I don't think I'd be that regular if it hadn't be for the placement. The restaurant grabs you even from the beginning with nice front decorations and when you go inside you're even more impressed by the food. The menu has all the necessary items for every taste and the prices are quite reasonable.
Its bright, open corner location opens up wonderfully in the early January light and large open windows and outside seating will be a godsend in the summer and will near double its capacity. Fashionably small wooden tables and communal bench seating are lovely, but we were left with little room for the multiple small plates of food (yes, that again) once water and a cute little pot of Jasmine tea were stacked up.
There's not much delineation between plates that would be starter or would be main other than the price, so it helps if you're happy sharing. Prices vary from £5.50 to £12.50 and with a recommended 2-3 plates per person it can get pricy for a neighbourhood restaurant. Thankfully they include the rice in that price. While there are a few staples featured, there isn't a focus on the thick curries many will associate with the region, instead more is made of subtle and steamed melanges of exotic vegetables, herbs and fruit like galangal, morning glory, krachai and the rarer members of the aubergine family. On our trip there weren't too many dishes on the regularly changing menu, but still enough to construct a reasonable selection from.
One of the best Pad Thai dishes I've had was a smashing demonstration of how unctuous and satisfying this often bland noodle dish can be. Soft and pillowy pork belly in a light peanut sauce came with a sharp papaya salad, though the portion size was a little disappointing for the price. The only disappointment were a handful of satay pork skewers, cooked, but not charred, and without enough texture or flavour correspondingly.
There's easily enough here to bring me back, and it's a fantastic new local spot for the local lads and ladies who lunch. Given Bellenden Road's firmly cemented position as an extension to East Dulwich's Lordship Lane, I don't think that they've got anything to worry about.
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