Good mixers ANNA FAIRHEAD AND SERGIO LEANZA, OWNERS OF FUNKIDORY, tell us how they came to open their small but perfectly formed bar in Peckham WORDS ANVIKSHA PATEL PHOTO PAUL STAFFORD
After living in Peckham for five years, it seemed only natural for Anna Fairhead and Sergio Leanza, both 32, to realise their dream of opening their own bar here. Both the Rye Lane residents worked in the drinks industry when they met. At the time, Anna was coordinating events for a bar consultancy business and brought Sergio on board to be part of the bar team. Sergio, a self-taught mixologist, was grateful that his work was taking him to places far and wide, but reminisced of a bar close to home. “There’s a bar in my hometown of Saronno, Italy,” he says. “It’s been open for 40 years and they have every generation in that bar. It’s a real community. “We imagined what it would be like if we could stop working for places where people are just passing through, and we could belong to somewhere. We realised that if that is what we wanted, we had to do it for ourselves.” With an idea in their pocket and their vast industry knowledge behind them, the couple came upon an empty unit at 42 Peckham Rye, which had been home to tailor Fashion House. Friends and family came together to help open Funkidory, which launched in October last year. Anna’s mother hand-sewed the cushion
seats, friends helped paint the outside sign, and illustrator and artist Samira Allaouat designed the artwork on the menus. Speaking of the drinks list, Anna describes how Sergio has full artistic licence when it comes to the cocktail creation. “He has all these big ideas and flits from one thing to another, and I try to grab them and turn them into something,” she laughs. Thanks to Sergio, all the cocktails pay homage to the rich mix of cultures that make up Peckham in an inventive and unique way. “We really love Peckham, and we wanted to offer something that represents the area and the different cultures here,” says Anna. The rum-based Kool Herc, for example, has a plantain-infused Supermalt reduction; while the Kalakuta Sour is inspired by Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti. “I looked into Nigerian cuisine to see what ingredients are used the most, and I went around Rye Lane asking people how to use their ingredients. Some said I was crazy because I wanted to use bitter leaf in a drink,” jokes Sergio. Keeping it local is important to Funkidory, which stocks mead from Gosnells in Print Village on Chadwick Road and beer from Brick Brewery on Blenheim Grove.
The vibe and decor in the bar are very much based on the owners’ personalities and likes. A mix of funk and 70s music hums in the background, graffiti and comic-book art are displayed on the walls and the relaxed feel of the space is inviting to passersby. When I ask how they’d describe the atmosphere, Anna says that while it might sound like a cliché,
Funkidory truly is a neighbourhood cocktail bar at its heart. “It’s a comfortable space for people to hang out in, chat with us at the bar and enjoy some interesting drinks,” she explains. “Maybe you might discover something you’ve not tried before. Most of all though, it’s just that little bit of escapism.”
AS SOON AS THE WATER BEGINS TO BOIL, cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Let it simmer for 10 minutes, then remove from the heat and let the rice rest for 30 minutes, or until the remainder of the water has been absorbed. Do not remove the lid at any point.
PREPARE THE SASHIMI. Using a very sharp knife, carefully cut the salmon into quarter-inch (5mm) pieces, slicing on a bias. Arrange the slices over one half of each rice bowl.
Something fishy JEN FERGUSON IS CO-FOUNDER OF EAST DULWICH ROAD BEER EMPORIUM HOP BURNS & BLACK. This recipe for salmon rice
In Japanese restaurants, donburi (rice bowls) can be served with toppings ranging from sea bass to sea urchin. This recipe for salmon rice bowls with soy-cured egg yolks is a home cook’s simpler, deconstructed take on sushi, with no rolling required. Jen recommends pairing this dish with a kölsch. Made with top-fermenting ale yeast, but stored at cold temperatures for long periods of time the way a lager would be, this hybrid style hails originally from Cologne and is known for its easy-drinking characteristics and crisp finish. Try the Früh kölsch or Mühlen kölsch, both from Germany, or the Sierra Nevada kölsch from the US. All three are available to buy from Hop Burns & Black at 38 East Dulwich Road.
INGREDIENTS (SERVES TWO): 250g sushi rice 330ml cold water 2½ tbsps rice vinegar 2 tbsps granulated sugar 1 tsp fine sea salt 200g sushi-grade salmon fillet, skin removed 100g salmon roe Nori, sliced into thin strips, to garnish For the soy-cured egg yolks: 3 tbsps soy sauce 1½ tbsps sake 1 tsp granulated sugar 2 eggs
METHOD PREPARE THE SOY-CURED EGG YOLKS about six hours before you plan to eat. Add the soy sauce, sake and granulated sugar to a ramekin or small bowl, and stir until the sugar dissolves. Over a separate bowl, carefully break open the first egg and let the white drain into the bowl. Once the egg is fully separated, gently place the yolk into the soy-sauce mixture. Repeat the process with the second egg, then cover
34 / THE PECKHAM PECULIAR
the ramekin or bowl with clingfilm and chill in the fridge for six hours. RINSE THE SUSHI RICE with cold water through a fine-meshed sieve for three to four minutes, stirring gently with your hands, or until the water runs clear. Shake out any excess water. Place the rice in a medium-sized saucepan, add the water, and cook over medium-high heat.
PHOTO BY ALEX LUCK FOR DOG ’N’ BONE BOOKS
bowls with soy-cured egg yolks is from her new book, The Beer Lover's Table, which pairs tasty dishes with tempting beers
ADD THE RICE VINEGAR, SUGAR AND SEA SALT to a small bowl, and stir well until the sugar and salt begin dissolving. Pour over the rice and gently fold to combine with a spatula. Divide the rice between two bowls and let it cool to room temperature.
SPOON THE SALMON ROE to one side of the salmon in each bowl. Next, gently remove the egg yolks from the soy-sauce mixture and place one in the centre of each bowl. If you wish, drizzle some of the leftover soy-sauce mixture over the salmon. Garnish each bowl with the sliced nori.