The Rye in Peckham struck me as the perfect place to be on a Sunday afternoon. With a pleasant and light-flooded interior; rustic-chic design; large beer garden; and fashionable waiting staff, it created an impeccable impression. The food we saw being carried around looked wholesome and appetising. So we were excited to place our orders.
While two of us went for the lamb roast (pictured left), the vegetarians of the group chose the baked stuffed aubergine.
Our trendy, but grumpy, waitress brought our food over promptly. To our surprise, the roast lamb was served in a slightly unconventional form: Instead of thin slices, on the side of the plate, a pile of shredded lamb was sitting on top of a sea of gravy, a big slob of red cabbage and a small bunch of carrots. I was thrilled about the sheer amount of gravy on my plate: usually, I have to ask for more. However, the rest of my meal was a little disappointing.
The lamb was tender but tasteless and the four small potato halves – only three for my friend – were hardly enough to accompany my meat and veg or, alas, soak all this gravy. If I was picky, I would have wished for something green on my plate, but at least my dish was filling.
Our vegetarian counterparts, meanwhile, were about to fork out £10.50 for half an aubergine on a bed of salad. Although the roast butternut squash stuffing tasted delicious, especially combined with the flavoursome blue cheese sauce, the meal could have done with a more substantial accompaniment. Like my lamb, the dish suffered from a lack of carbs.
The Rye is a beautiful venue with a pleasant atmosphere, but the food didn’t quite meet the expectations set by the surroundings.