Peckham continues to prove itself the epicentre of a burgeoning young neighbourhood food scene, with news of a new locavore cafe/restaurant opening on 12 January, as news that Kudu will be opening on Queen’s Road early in the new year.
Fronted by debutantes Amy Corbin and Patrick Williams, Kudu promises a menu rooted in the pair’s South African heritage, and they’ve got the pedigree to back it up. Amy, who grew up working in hospitality is daughter to Chris Corbin, of Corbin & King — the duo behind such restaurants as The Delaunay and The Wolseley — while Patrick, who will head up the kitchen at Kudu, was previously sous chef at Paradise Garage, the now-closed Bethnal Green satellite operation from the team behind south-London stalwarts The Dairy and The Manor.
Service at Kudu will be a focussed affair, with Wednesday-Sunday dinners supplemented by weekend brunch, a format that presumably will allow Corbin and Williams to focus on their locavore message. With products “sourced as much as possible from local suppliers,” Kudu “celebrate hunters [and] foragers,” and where practical, dishes will feature ingredients from their own herb garden and vegetable plot.
Launch menus are available online, and while dish descriptions are appropriately vague as is de rigueur for aspiring new bistros, flavour combinations like Braai lamb rump, smoked yoghurt, lettuce, brussels tops, and Whole mallard duck, honey & garlic glaze (for two, obvs) sound like sure hits to follow smaller dishes like Fried artichokes, miso mayonnaise, or the eponymous Kudu bread — served with either melted lardon butter, parsley, or melted seafood butter, baby prawns (shrimp?) While elsewhere, there will be Mussel potjie pot with seaweed gnocchi, Onion and beer tarte tatin with goats curd, and Pigs head tortellini with hay bone broth and crispy onions.
While casual dining in the UK endures continued uncertainty and the fiscal instability posed by a supply chain grappling with the prospect of an approaching Brexit, it’s heartening to see neighbourhood dining continue to grow as young restauranteurs put themselves on the line to realise their visions — and hopefully that commitment to local producers and a community focus can provide Kudu some insurance as they put down roots.
Kudu will open for dinner only, Wednesday to Sunday — from 6pm to 10pm. Weekend brunch will be served from 11am to 3pm. The restaurant will open on 12 January 2018 (with a two-day soft launch on 10 and 11 January for dinner only.)