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South African restaurant opens in Peckham, London to rave reviews

Mosbolletjie brood, potjiekos and rooibos tea: South African food is making an impression in London – and it’s not just expats who are thrilled!

Based in Peckham, Kudu opened officially on 12 January, but already it’s getting some rave reviews. Conde Nast Traveller includes Kudu on its list of best restaurants in London right now, while the Evening Standard describes it as a “vibrant new addition” to the neighbourhood, advising readers to “gallop on down”. Eater London meanwhile, recommends the Boerewors sausage with romesco, white beans and chimichurri for brunch, which apparently “makes a robust start to the weekend”.

So who’s behind it?

Chef Patrick Williams studied at the SA Chef’s Academy and started his career at local Top 10 restaurant, La Colombe. “Working at La Colombe taught me the groundwork of fine dining cuisine,” says Patrick in an online interview. He also worked as sous chef at Somerset West’s Camphors at Vergelegen under previous chef PJ Vadas. In 2014, he made the move to London where he worked at several top restaurants, including Sorella, Paradise Garden, before opening Kudu with UK restaurant royalty, Amy Corbin.

Says Patrick, “I use my South African roots to inspire the dishes but the core is modern European and we try and make it as accessible as possible.”

There are however some glorious-sounding South African-inspired dishes – including a few braai dishes, and chocolate mousse topped with a home-made version of peppermint crisp tart. Conde Nast Traveller‘s Tabitha Joyce commends the bread: a cumin-brioche, based on mosbolletjies, served in a cast-iron pot. “It’s light and fluffy and should be dunked straight into the skillet of lardon-laced molten-butter”, says reviewer Tabitha. Um, yes, we’ll take two of those.

She also commends the mussel pojtie, “a creamy fish velouté dotted with home-rolled nettle gnocchi; and delicate deep-fried artichokes, served with a miso mayonnaise.” (Less sure about the nettles, but we’re open to it.)

As for the normal punters, it seems Londoners love the South African flavours. “So far the response has been amazing,” says Amy Corbin.

For pud, there’s also pumpkin tart, chocolate babka with miso caramel and candied kumquat, and to drink, there’s plenty of South African wine and rooibos tea.

As for the decor, subtle African touches have made their way into the design, with a reclaimed African wood herringbone floor and coat hooks in the shape of kudu horns.

While we will need to save our Randelas a little longer to try it ourselves, we wager that there will be plenty of homesick expats who’re rejoicing in London right now.

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