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Location: 168 Bellenden Rd, Peckham, London, SE15 4BW


Cuisine: Modern Thai restaurant

Cost: £20 / head depending how many plates you get

Contact details: www.thebeggingbowl.co.uk

I will cut straight to the chase with the Begging Bowl. The food is amazing. It is rich with authentic flavours, has modern use of seasonal British ingredients like venison and rabbit and most importantly for us… is largely gluten free.

I advised of a gluten free guest when calling to reserve – but they don’t take reservations. However the call gave me a huge sense of confidence in the kitchen as they talked confidently about how they could accomodate me. At the table, the staff we equally competent with my request and explained after checking with the kitchen how they use tamari as a direct replacement for soy sauce. Everything is cooked to order which meant everything, bar one dish was available to me. And this was only because it compromised on flavour too much for the chef. What a refreshing approach to catering for coeliacs?  And what a treat when eating out gluten free.

Plates are varying sizes and prices from a selection of about 15 dishes, and unlimited sticky and jasmine rice to accompany them. You are encouraged to share with your diners which also means you get to try much more….

Fishcakes were soft and quite unlike their chewy counterparts I experienced when in Thailand, and seriously whet the appetite for the feast that followed. Stir fried venison haunch with chilli jam, Deep fried Blythborough pork belly with sour chilli dip and gravy both packed a real punch. The red curry with beef cheek was outstanding, and great to see such an under utilised cut put to perfect use. Then the deep fried whole sea bass with sour chilli dressing and thai basil was a beast – and quite ugly after its treatment. But the taste more than made up for the poor fellas appearance! Plenty of vegetarian options abound, but a simple order of morning glory complemented the meat feast for us.

There is a comprehensive wine list, many available by carafe and beers for the gluten consumers.  We couldn’t resist the ubiquitous thai dessert of mangoes with sticky rice, and the light jasmine tea rounded off the evening perfectly.

Being in the heart of oh so fashionable Peckham, it is a welcome addition to the area. But I would also recommend venturing out to Bellenden Rd for those further afield, as with a great selection of pubs and other restaurants, you will be pleasantly surprised what Peckham has to offer. And its the most amazing gluten free thai food ever….