Being a vocally proud Peckham resident, I’ve been spoiled for choice on food and drink for the nine months I’ve lived here. In recent years the area has ditched the nauseating legacy of the Trotter family and become, to poorly paraphrase a whole heap of journalists, “a culinary and cultural melting-pot of seasoned locals and ambitious young professionals”. Now, before I reach for the *shoots self in face* emoji, I'm afraid I'm inclined to agree, it's bloody brilliant here and judging by the quality of our trip to The Old Nun’s Head, the neighbouring suburb of Nunhead is no exception.
Built in the 1930s on the site of an Old Nunnery, the pub sits bang on Nunhead Green and is a short walk from the eponymous train station. It boasts a wide selection of cask and craft ales, cocktails and wines and has a pop-up kitchen whose residents rotate daily, offering a mix of Burgers, Souvaki, Thai and Sunday Roasts.
The best way of describing the pub’s interior would probably be, “a proper old boozer”. No pretentious frills, friendly staff, an open fireplace and a large heated outdoor area. The real deal!
For our Saturday visist, we opted to try the locally infamous “Burger Bear”.
Since hot-wings were also on the menu, my chosen guest for lunch was a journalist friend with an taste for heavy metal and chicken wings, it seems the two go hand in hand? We were due to see Star Wars that afternoon so what better way to prepare for a huge American blockbuster than… ok you get the idea.
We each chose an “Angry Bear” burger and a portion of hot wings and chips to share, washed down with a pint of Laine’s Best. Oh my, it was delicious!
The bun was a mix of traditional burger-bun and brioche, without the sickly brioche sweetness. The (Flock & Heard) beef patty was perfectly cooked with just the right amount of fat to add flavour, as opposed to dripping with grease. The cheese blended in nicely, almost unnoticed and the relish and holy f*** sauce gave just the right amount of heat to delicately burn the palate and provide the signature naga-chilli endorphin rush, without reducing either of us to sweaty tears.
As for the chicken wings, they were everything we’d hoped they’d be. Too often buffalo sauce can leave your mouth feeling like you’ve been perpetually gargling liquefied Haribo Tangfastics but thankfully, in this case, the vingar/chilli balance was spot on, as was the crispy texture. The addition of a blue cheese dipping sauce would have won them a solid 5 stars but I’ll happily bring my own next time!
Finally, the chips were well-seasoned, crispy, and ideal to dip in the buffalo sauce. Just great chips!
For the value, quality and atmosphere, this place really is worth a visit. Nunhead is just a 14-minute journey from Victoria so head down there and believe, me it’ll be one of the best burgers you ever eat!
Words: Charlie Allen