9 November 2011

Bambuni Delicatessen & Coffee Shop

I love Peckham Rye Park and the great expanse next to it that is Peckham Rye Common.  And there's no better time of year to enjoy them than now when the trees are turning golden, the sun is low in the sky and I can stomp my way through mounds of leaves (wistfully dreaming of being 5 again and shuffling through the autumn leaves in my little red wellies...).

Being a parent I have spent hours and hours there - doing laps with the pram in the vain hope that Baby GG would fall asleep, watching the ducks, ambling across the common to visit friends and picnicking amongst the trees.  In those idle moments when I think about one day moving house,  I realise that I really can't contemplate not having this lovely open space on my doorstep.  There's rarely a day goes by when I don't wander through, or at the very least past, its gates.

On these cold Autumnal days its always good to know that there's a purpose to those strolls around the park.  (Or a reward for spending half an hour chasing Baby GG around the playground.)  A little warm, welcoming haven to draw you in from the cold and tempt you with its delights.  Like a country pub at the end of a long walk. 

Since Bambuni opened its doors a little over 6 weeks ago it has become one of those retreats for me.  A good brisk walk across the common delivers me safely to a far superior cup of coffee than I can find at the Cafe on the Rye or The Gardens.  Volcano Coffee to be precise, roasted in nearby West Norwood (you can also stock up on their beans or freshly ground coffee to take home).

What welcomes you is a spacious, light and well stocked deli.  What you can't find here probably isn't worth having.  But that's not to say that the owner, Huey, will sell any old rubbish.  What strikes me when I talk to him about the produce he stocks is that each item has been carefully chosen personally by him for one reason or another.

On my first ever visit, the week Bambuni opened, he was sampling the (then soon to be released) Bethnal Pale Ale from the Redchurch Brewery, one of a handful of top notch beers in his ever increasing craft beer selection (The Kernel Brewery, Otley Brewing Company, Dark Star Brewing).  There's wine sold from the barrel in refillable bottles and a fine wine selection (with plenty tasting notes to guide you along the way) which boasts a particularly fine, light Prosecco.

Bambuni stocks more than 40 different cheeses, numerous cured meats, breads and pastries from Born & Bread (including those delicious little Green Olive Grissini), a delicious cold pressed rapeseed oil (and olive oils) sold in refillable bottles, flour and baking ingredients by the scoop and pretty much anything you might wish for in a jar (my current favourite being those lovely big jars of chickpeas and white beans, perfect for salads with plenty of parsley and marinated tuna).

I like the fact that you don't have to ask for a glass of tap water - there's always a jug full and a tray of glasses so you can help yourself.  And because it is primarily a shop (not a cafe, as Huey would be at pains to stress...), there is a great sense of space.

Bambuni is a labour of love.  I hope it continues that way.

The Lowdown

143 Evelina Road
SE15 3HB

Tel: 0207 732 4150

Last visit: November 2011
Cost: £2 for coffees and £3.50 for toasted sandwiches 
Service included: No
Food: Delicatessen (cheese, charcuterie, wine, craft beers, oil, baking supplies). Coffee Shop (excellent coffee from Volcano Coffee, cakes, toasted sandwiches).
Buggy Ratio: Depends on the time of day! There are highchairs and plenty of space for buggies, but it is primarily a deli and coffee shop as opposed to a cafe
Outdoor Space: Yes - a lovely little courtyard patio
Will I go again?: Yes

For transparency, I should say that Huey and I are friends.  We met whilst Huey was slaving away building Bambuni with those shutters closed to the outside world.  He was on the tasting panel for our search for the best hot cross bun in East Dulwich and shares my love of cheese and beer.


  1. Looks great! Love the wine refill barrels - will have to check out - thanks!

  2. I warn you - you will come away with bags of lovely things you never knew you needed!