The Begging Bowl

• Thai• Peckham

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About the restaurant

Founder Jane Alty is one of a growing number of restaurateurs to have worked under chef David Thompson at the legendary Nahm in Bangkok, bringing a passion for intense Thai flavours back to newly opened restaurants in London. Before opening The Begging Bowl in 2012, Alty also worked at Bibendum and the Galvin group.

The Begging Bowl is immediately recognisable for the white conservatory-style frontage that spills out into Bellenden Road, a part of Peckham that’s seen many high-quality neighbourhood restaurants open up over the last half a decade or so.

The food here is heavily inspired by Thailand – the name of the restaurant even refers to the bowls carried to food markets by Buddhist monks in Chiang Mai – but makes use of a supply chain of excellent British ingredients. You might find Scottish venison minced in a classic laab, for example, or a jungle curry made with fresh mussels from the UK.

Reviews from the Web

Critic reviews

The Infatuation

The Begging Bowl isn’t just the best Thai restaurant in Peckham, it’s one of the best Thai restaurants in London. The whole idea of taking traditional Thai dishes and putting a modern spin on them feels like it came from this cosy Bellenden village restaurant.


Quality is high: this is a step up from many of London’s Thai restaurants. Classics like fishcakes were well executed: less compact and springy than is often the case, and the better for their fluffier texture and sweet chilli sauce.

The Telegraph

A faultless green chicken curry isn't the only high point of the marvellous menu at this south-London Thai restaurant

The Independent

I dip from this into a delightfully huge and juicy green papaya salad – the strips of tangy fruit and heaps of peanuts make a soothing crunch (not quite so sure about the random tomato…).

Time Out

The dining room has a contemporary feel, with big windows and colourful, painted reclaimed wood lining one wall. There’s outside seating too. Staff are young and enthusiastic, regularly checking in to see if we needed anything.

The Nudge

The space isn’t anything fancy. Instead it has a relatively pared-back feel mostly made up of wooden tables ad chairs, warmed by a statement wall of white, orange and green stripes.