Peckham, the home of Del Boy, is now cool with the Bussey building housing dubstep nights and an open air cinema; fashionable bands like Mount Kimbie call the area home. Frank’s cafe has been a fixture of Peckham nightlife for a few years now – it is housed on the top of a Brutalist multi-storey car park which looks grimy from street level but offers fantastic views over London from the top. The space is open, with rows of picnic benches covered by tarpaulin and it has a temporary, almost festival feel to it which is enhanced by very dodgy toilets.
The design is very clever, with wooden beams bolted to the concrete floor supporting the entire structure: it was created by Practice Architecture who have Anthony Gormley’s daughter Paloma at the helm. Frank’s is a few minutes’ walk from Peckham Rye station – look out for the concrete block/cinema (or alternatively you could follow the nearest trail of hipsters). It gets very busy and you need to be at a table to order food, so I recommend arriving early in the evening and banking a spot at the one of the benches.
They have Meantime beer on draught and a selection of cocktails, including a Negroni at £5 and an Amaretto Sour for £6; they will also open a decent bottle of wine for you at £18. The menu is mostly barbecue with a handsome looking grilled sweetcorn at £2.5 and a smoky plantain at £3. We also had a rich ox heart kebab which came on a pitta bread with yoghurt covered red cabbage, this comes highly recommended at £5.8. The meat was tender and tasted similar to roasted topside of beef – it was nicely complemented by the tangy red cabbage and light, sharp yoghurt.
Barbecued sardines were served whole: they were very meaty and smoky, enhanced by a spicy harissa dip – they would go very well with a malty Meantime beer. The food is simple and well prepared, but the main reason to come here is the view: you can look over the whole of the Square Mile, see the sun set in West London and the lights come on in the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf.
Verdict: great beer food to complement an astounding view.
[It will be closing for the winter on September 29th so get there as soon as you can!].