28-30 Peckham High Street
Open 10.35am-9pm daily
Transport: Peckham Rye rail or 36 bus
No, not the ancient city in Iran, but the Iranian shop, café and restaurant in Peckham, London. This is a charming little spot in the south of the capital and is popular with both Iranians and Londoners alike.
Before you sit down to eat, make sure you explore the shop. There you will find people making their way through the narrow and exceedingly tall aisles of the shop. It is these crowds and the rush of the shop which add to its authentic charm. Persepolis took me back to being in a food shop in Iran, looking up way high to find whatever herb or spice you were looking for and creeping around customers so as not to disturb them and knock the shelves. At Persepolis, you will find heaps of typical Persian ingredients, from dried limes to nigella seeds. Everything is priced very well and is excellent value. You can order products online with Persepolis too.
After discovering your essential Persian cooking ingredient in the shop, make your way to the restaurant which is just next door. You will most likely be seated by the owner of the place, Sally Butcher. You will see her Middle Eastern recipe book Persepolis on display around the shop.
The restaurant is a distinct looking space, where you’ll find lots of bits and bobs dotted all over the place, with shisha pipes and musical instruments scattered all over and hanging high from the walls.
The restaurant boasts an interesting mix of Middle Eastern flavours. The menu is mostly meze and is fantastic value with a large portion costing just £5. With classic dishes, such as scrambled eggs with dates and spices and other more unique dishes, such as wraps filled with quince caramelised celeriac and halloumi, you have a great range to work from here. The selection of drinks is excellent too, with the go-to options being the pomegranate juice and the Afghan green tea. There are also plenty of tasty desserts to choose from, such as the unique Persian saffron and banana split. There is also an interesting Turkish delight sundae which is a keen favourite.
Persepolis is a colourful and well-known little place in this part of town. You will feel right at your Persian home in this incredible find and it will give you that heart-warming memory of food in Iran, or indeed new memory of Iranian food. It will instantly validate or make you discover what all the fuss is about. Simplicity, good-quality ingredients and that perfect blend of spice put together. نوش جان Nooshe jan (Bon appétit in Persian).