Tuesday, 20 November 2012


Dabbous is possibly the most hyped restaurant ever to have opened in London.  At the time of writing, they are fully booked for dinner until September 2013 and you won't even be able to get a table for lunch before next April.

With this in mind, and considering that I made my reservation back in May of this year, I was pretty excited about finally getting to sample the food at Dabbous on Saturday.

We opted for the tasting menu, and started things off with a couple of cocktails, 'dillusion' cucumber martini and a bloody mary, both £8.50, and the first edible offering, some brilliant green olives and 4 slices of sourdough bread served in a bag stamped with the date.  Nice smokey churned butter.  I didn't rate the bread, thought it was a bit dry.  The tasting menu then consisted of the following:-
 Hispi cabbage with mayonnaise and sunflower seeds and petals.  This was a tad sickly and quite difficult to eat.  No cutlery.

 Celeriac with muscat grapes, hazelnuts & lovage.  Nice flavours, very delicate, loved the nuts.

 Coddled free range hen egg with woodland mushrooms and smoked butter.

Braised halibut with coastal herbs and pickled garlic.  My favourite dish, but quite difficult to eat with a fork and a spoon. Loved the garlic and the fish was beautifully cooked.

Barbequed Iberico pork, savory acorn praline, turnip tops, apple vinegar.  Pork was a little chewy and difficult to cut, really nice sweet and sour flavour contrasts with the accompaniments.

Artisanal British cheeses with toasted sourdough and baked apple.  Cheese!  A supplement of £9 is charged.  We shared this.

Milk curd with orange, chesnut and azuki beans.  This was really fresh and interesting.  I'm not usually down with orange desserts but the chesnuts won me over.

Chocolate soaked brioche, barley malt ice cream and candied pecans.  This was brilliant.  The brioche was lurking under the chocolate crumbly stuff.

After the cocktails, we had a carafe of Pegasus Bay Riesling from New Zealand, £18.  Nice to see a good selection of wines available in glass and carafe measures.

The highlights for me were the halibut and the chocolate brioche.  But, there's no way to avoid saying that I was disappointed with the meal at Dabbous.  Even the lauded signature dishes of coddled egg and Iberico pork, just didn't knock my socks off, and I so wanted them to.

I found the service almost rudely aloof, nobody attempted to engage us in any remote attempt at conversation.  The dining room is strangely sterile, very dark with exposed brick and wood, and little else of note.

At £54 for the tasting menu, there is certainly better value food to be had in London, and I couldn't help but compare the experience to my recent meal at The Kitchen Table, which couldn't be more different.  There the atmosphere is intimate and involving.  Things ended on a high though, with the arrival of two teeny cannelles topped with cherries, when the bill was delivered.  Prettiest plate of the day. We weren't offered coffees, didn't want it, but nice to be asked.

The cocktails and the desserts were the highlight which leads me to conclude that I would not return to eat upstairs at Dabbous, I would, however, visit Oskar's Bar downstairs for some more of those excellent cocktails. 

39 Whitfield St

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Lizzie Mabbott said...

£9 for 4 slices of sad-looking cheese? You got diddled!

Laura Fitzpatrick said...

Ha! They're pathetic little offerings aren't they?! RUDE.