Flavours of the world

By Lucy Clarke - Wed 6 December 2017, 2:31 pm

For food lovers, inner London offers variety of cuisine like few places on earth, as demonstrated in Southwark. Lucy Clarke visits some of the borough's best restaurants, representing countries across the globe.

Southwark has one of the most diverse and evolving restaurant scenes in London some feat in one of the world's most multicultural cities, which offers cuisine from every continent in the world.

In contrast to stereotypes of British adventurousness when it comes to dining, the openness of residents in the borough to food from different cultures and regions has driven its success.

From warming West African dishes on Old Kent Road and colourful Mexican tacos in Stoney Street, to an English take on Neapolitan pizzas in Nunhead and spicy Asian delights off Peckham's Bellenden Road, the variety of food on offer should be diverse enough to satisfy even the fussiest eater.

According to Adam Hyman, who runs the Code hospitality news forum, London "has so much diversity; it's culturally rich and is still a financial centre...it has upped its game and restaurant tourism to London is on the rise".

In Southwark, this is self-evident.


New Zealand-born Jane Alty (above) owns The Begging Bowl, an authentic Thai restaurant in Peckham, which opened its doors in August 2012.

"I've been living around Camberwell and Peckham for 15 years and my business partner lives in East Dulwich," Alty says. "We used to drive past this area and think how beautiful it was. We also felt there weren't enough restaurants offering what we could.

"When we first got the site and were renovating, we would leave the doors open and everyone kept telling us there was never a restaurant here that worked.

"But it felt like Peckham was on the cusp of things happening. And it was. About eight months after we opened up, lots started to happen in the way of regeneration and now it is going from strength-to-strength."

A longer version of this article appears in issue 18 of Southwark magazine

Click here to get a copy