I don’t usually go to pop-ups in London. There are so many new restaurant openings that I’d rather go to a place that will be around for a while (one hopes) so that there’s a point in taking the time to write about it, without having to chuck it a month later.
There are however, always exceptions. Perilla, which currently occupies Platform 1 on bustling East Dulwich Lordship Lane, is too good to miss. Even if you hope that with their talent and generally truly excellent food they’ll find a permanent base soon.
Before I smother Perilla with compliments, a quick word about Platform 1, as I rather like the concept. They call themselves a ‘permanent pop-up’, and it is quite literally a platform for new chefs and young culinary talent who can use the space for four months before passing the space on to the next. As it’s a neighbourhood restaurant they’re keeping the front of house team constant, so you will recognise the staff (they’re very good). It’s a nice touch.
But back to Perilla. The guys behind it are super young. 23 (Ben) and 24 (Matt) years old to be precise. Ben has been a chef at Noma (aka restaurant in Copenhagen voted the best restaurant in the world) and Claridges and Matt has managed both Polpo and Polpetto. Not a bad team.
They offer a five course tasting menu for £35 a head. Or they have a (succinct) a la carte menu with too good to be true prices. Bar snacks start at £1.50: the crisp chicken wings stuffed with mushrooms were possibly the best thing on the whole menu – and I don’t even like mushrooms. Their flat bread with brown butter and rosemary was very moorish. Crisped Cavelo Nero was delicious too, their duck egg, mussels and parsley dish was wonderful, as was the (beautifully presented) scallop with horseradish, cucumber and radishes.
Mains vary from £11 to £16 for the pork (which was especially popular with the boys). The poached trout will set you back £13, and was the most delicately cooked fish with radish, yoghurt and sorrel.
We drank a substantial amount of wine – they have a great, and quite original selection (everyone love their Pinot Noir), but the cocktails are also worth having (we had those instead of pudding). We tried a selection of their home infused spirits, and I loved my cherry vodka with whiskey (yes, it was pretty punchy).
Perilla is around in Dulwich until the end of February. And they take bookings. So no excuses.
And if, like me, East Dulwich is very far away for you, then combine it with cocktails at Pedlar (blog to follow) or the Peckham Refreshment Rooms in Peckham Rye (around the corner) before or after, and you’ll have ticked at least two highly recommended foodie places in one go.
71 Lordship Lane
Photo credit: mixture of Perilla’s own and mine