Café Viva, Peckham

The LFLD Team |
Cafe VivaCraving some comfort food as the colder weather closes in? Head to cosy Café Viva in Peckham, where stews, soups and slow-cooks are the order of the day Who…/ Lily Gorlin's popular Peckham café opened in 2012, serving cakes, lunch and great coffee. Now it's open for dinner too, from Tuesday to Saturday until 10.30pm. Dishes are paired with vino chosen by sommelier Jade Koch, head of wine at St John. Menu…/ Expect simple, homemade suppers, with an ever-changing menu of warming casseroles, stews and slow-cooks during the winter months. There are options for both veggies and meat-eaters, with small plates, larger meals, cheese and puddings. The small-but-perfectly-formed menu is constantly changing but when we dropped by, dishes included chicken and cider casserole with autumn veg; and Moorish vegetable and chickpea tagine with fragrant cous cous and yoghurt. There were several lighter options too, such as cannellini bean and rosemary hummus with warm bread; and locally smoked salmon with red cabbage and beetroot salad. Small plates cost around £4 and main courses about £9. Café Viva keeps it local – meat is supplied by long-standing north Peckham butcher W Bunting and the smoked salmon comes from The Pished Fish in Camberwell. There's also cheese from Mons in Bermondsey. Fabulous desserts, which are homemade by Lily and her team, include sweet treats such as salted caramel bread and butter pud; warm chocolate brownie with ice cream and affogato. Drinks…/ Drinkers are in a safe pair of hands when it comes to the wine list. The menu has been devised by Jade Koch, who has an impressive CV – as well as heading up wine at St John, she's also sommelier for Tate catering and a consultant for Harrods and Trullo. Koch has put together an interesting and unusual list of European wine and beer from two small London suppliers, which will change seasonally. Customers are welcome to pop in for evening drinks only and the café also sells wine to take away. The vibe…/ Café Viva is located at the busier end of Choumert Road, a bustling street that brims with small, independent businesses including barbers, butchers, fashion shops, internet cafés and grocers. Inside, the small, candle-lit café is an oasis of calm, with formica tables, friendly service and a chilled out atmosphere. Looking for a relaxed evening with a friend where you can actually hear their conversation? This is your place. We visited and here's why you should go…/ New restaurants and bars are opening in Peckham at a rate of knots, but the food at Café Viva is undoubtedly some of the best we've eaten in the area. The shin of beef chilli with rice and lemon guacamole was one of the tastiest dishes we've had in a long time – the meat was melt-in-your-mouth tender and the guacamole zingy and fresh. The café has only just starting serving evening meals so we'd recommend heading down there ASAP. With the quality of the food and wine list, the generous portions and reasonable prices, it won't be long before word gets out. Where…/ 44 Choumert Road, London, SE15 4SE @cafevivapeckham Written by the team at Peckham Peculiar Magazine:    
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