The smell of sweet bacon in Peckham Rye station is a daily reminder of the arrival of Coal Rooms Restaurant, which has found a home in the old ticket office of the vintage station. Peckham residents have been eagerly awaiting this opening after the Old Spike Coffee Roastery team promised a comfort food eatery from the convenience of the area’s main station.
The venue is split into sections… first a small but bright cafe area where short-stay visitors can pop in for a croissant and coffee. Walk through the kitchen area and you’ll reach the clean and simple dining room, with chevron plank flooring and teal crushed velvet sofas.
The restaurant is open all day. At lunchtime a smaller selection of plates is available, each dish is priced between £5 and £10, and you will probably need four between two. Glancing over the menu I quickly realised this is not a restaurant for the faint-hearted or vegan, the majority of the dishes feature heavy and rich meat elements or at least plenty of cheese!
We ordered a selection and there were varying levels of success. Buttermilk fried mackerel, Bull’s Head tomato, Scotch bonnet hot sauce, kewpie was the obvious winner with my guest who silently and methodically made her way through the whole plate. The oily fish was cleverly paired with chilli to cut through the texture and had a lovely creamy kewpie mayonnaise on top.
Buttermilk chicken, jerk caramel was a tad disappointing – lack lustre chicken topped with a caramel sauce. We liked the earthy Smoked goat belly & beans but didn’t rush to finish it.
Of the vegetarian options, Coal roasted cauliflower with miso bagna cauda and furikake (available as a half or full cauliflower) was an unusual but delicious dish, clearly influenced by the flavours of Japan. ‘Peckham Fatboy’ fried potatoes topped with Ogleshield cheese, onions and beef fat mayonnaise was an indulgent and delicious side and Umami salad with crispy onions was a fresh and palate cleansing dish when eaten with the assortment of meat dishes.
Coal Rooms has become known for its Bacon Sandwich (which costs £5)… Coffee-cured streaky bacon, homemade brown sauce or ketchup sandwiched between a fluffy custard bun. The bacon sandwich is available all day (including at lunchtime) until sold out. It is an epic sarnie, overflowing with thick-cut pork with a smoky sweetness from the homemade sauce.
At lunchtime there is only one dessert on offer and a cheese option. Apple & cheddar pie, cinnamon toast ice-cream was a simple but tasty dessert… I particularly liked the spiced ice-cream. Coal Rooms serve great coffee from Old Spike, which is lucky as you’ll need a pick-me-up after a hearty meal here.
PS. Don’t leave without visiting the beautiful bathrooms…
More information and book a table at Coal Rooms here.