Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Rules

Fighting our way past a rag-tag group of Guanabara carnival dancers (some of whom might want to rethink a sequinned g-string in a breezy overcast Covent Garden - and I'm not just talking about the women) was not how I had imagined my arrival at Rules. 




This was not my first visit to Rules, the last time being almost a decade ago and as a host for a work dinner back in the days when entertainment budgets had several zeros.  I had one of those 'cultural sensitivity' incidents that those who work in a corporate environment with an avid HR team will be painfully conscious of.  Smoked salmon arrived. A table of colleagues of around 10 different nationalities all looked in bemusement at the beige fabric parcel on their plates. After seeing me pick it up prod it with a fork and squeeze liquid out onto the salmon tentative questions were asked - the main one being "but why?". Nil points for British Cuisine so far then. Things carried on in the same vein with roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. It didn't occur to me to warn them that the innocuous creamy sauce on their plates concealed fire in the form of horseradish the result being a United Nations worth of lawyers joined in their common hatred of British food through tears streaming down their faces. I recall an Indian gentleman spluttering "I like spices, I eat a lot of chilli, but this? This is evil!!!" Oops, no job offers in diplomacy for me in the near future. 

The positives that I do remember from that evening were both the attentive service and the beautifully decorated private room we were squirrelled away in so it would prove interesting to see if the experience was the same for common or garden diners. I also learnt that very few people of any nationality can find treacle tart offensive and thank goodness for that. 

Rules has a significant history to it not least for having been one of various central London destinations where the then Prince of Wales ('Bertie' to his friends) carried on his secret - or not so secret - assignations with mistress Lillie Langtry. Even now regulars can enter via a private door reputed to have been used by Langtry. Stories of this ilk combined with the chockload of antiques and pictures and a Covent Garden location makes it a mecca for tourists. Indeed, on this visit Japanese and Americans made up a majority of the diners.


So, fast forward ten years or so and is Rules still the same place? This time we were sat downstairs in the main room nestled under an unusual painting of Maggie Thatcher - see what I mean?


The impressive reputation of "London's Oldest Restaurant" brings with it a certain level of expectation and cachet. This assumption of cachet seems to be directly reflected in the attitude and demeanour of various of the serving staff who treat guests with a certain froideur usually reserved for the snootiest of Parisian brasseries which is unfortunate as the food is very decent. Our waiter was distinctly unhelpful, seemingly adopting an attitude designed to make you feel as though you should be grateful to be there.

The menu is understandably very traditional and very British. You're never going to come here looking for culinary wizardry or foams, savoury snows and anything sous vide. A starter of smoked duck salad with stilton was good but largely down to the quality of the ingredients rather than any level of culinary expertise.


A dressed crab with a delicately flavoured aioli was plentiful and, again, of excellent quality. 



Smoked salmon (£15) was served with that pesky lemon muslin again with the option of chopped egg or not. personally I find the addition of egg a little too breakfast but nice touch nonetheless. 




I was abroad for the glorious twelfth so this was my first occasion of the year to eat grouse. A whole grouse no less (£32). In hindsight I should probably have taken up the option of the bird being pre carved and served ready to eat but I got all cocky (see what I did there?) and decided I could do it on my own. So a carcass arrived at the table, feather strewn legs and all and I got to work with a rather large knife. Not a very sharp knife incidentally so it did all rather descend into a Neanderthal display of tearing meat from fowl.  The Americans sat at the table next to me looked slightly horrified. The flavour was good though- just the right side of gamey and still moist- and although I might have regretted how I'd opted to have it served I was glad I went for it. I somehow always manage to forget that "game chips" aren't chips at all in the British sense but crisps. I know its tradition but it still feels weird having a plate of meat, veg, gravy and the best part of a packet of crisps. 


Steak and kidney suet pudding (£18) was hearty with a suet pastry so full of grease it was almost translucent. Breaking it open revealed a rich, meaty filling surpassing all of our expectations. Vegetables and sides are well cooked if unexciting.



Desserts are of the rich and comforting variety; sticky toffee puddings, lemon meringue pies and almond tarts. All nursery favourites that never grow old. 



Would I go back? I'm sure that I will, although not on a regular basis, its rather too pricey for that. If you want to experience the place without the almighty price tag then pop into the upstairs bar for a cocktail. 

Highlights: The crab, the pomp of the surroundings and all the desserts.

Summary: It feels like its become a little touristy but can still be relied on to provide well executed British food albeit at an eyebrow raising price and will undoubtedly remain as part of London's dining Establishment for years to come.

6/10

35 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, London. WC2E 7LB
0207 8365314

Rules on Urbanspoon

Friday, 7 November 2014

Berners Tavern

We had a little time to kill before our dinner reservation so popped into the Sanderson purple bar for a cocktail. Some years ago the height of cool, the Sanderson was feeling tired around the edges. That impression only intensified on crossing the road and strolling down to the London Edition Hotel, a collaboration between Marriott and Ian Schrager- its almost as though he has given up on his former baby at the Sanderson. Schrager's influence is keenly felt as this is like no Marriott I've ever been to before.  Berners Tavern opened in the middle of 2013 with Jason Atherton as restaurateur. Yes, yet  another of the almost amoebic spread of Atherton restaurants across London, Berners Tavern is located on the ground floor of the London Edition Hotel. 

In this case "Tavern" is possibly the greatest misnomer for a restaurant that I have come across. Its tantamount to living in a ten bed mansion at the end of an oak lined drive and calling it "Acorn Cottage".  Picturing a "tavern" in my minds eye conjures up images of a low ceilinged Dickensian drinking house with blowsy bar maids attending to red nosed men. This couldn't be further from the reality on Berners Street.  My pictures don't do the dining room justice, you need the widest angle lens possible to take it all in. Its massive. Its gorgeous.  Toweringly high ceilings with beautifully lit plasterwork and architraves sit atop wooden panelled walls covered in an eclectic patchwork of framed prints and paintings. It is the perfect blend of contemporary chic in a classic setting (that sounds sickeningly estate agent but you know what I mean). Caged chandeliers left me thinking of the scene in Moulin Rouge where Satine descends singing 'Diamonds are a girl's best friend'. Its the kind of place that just makes you want to misbehave in the most decadent way possible. 



Its also enough to make most of us feel under dressed. This is somewhere that people are instinctively dressing for dinner even without there being a formal dress code. Despite it being a Sunday evening I'd worn a dress and was glad I did, jeans just wouldn't cut it here. There was also a certain 'type' of clientele. Lots of West London mediahhhhh and creative types in their late forties and early fifties with much younger girlfriends. Yep, its that kind of place. 

As the lights dim in the evening to a golden glow, the cocktail bar is the perfect place for not so illicit dalliances over potent and novel blends, definitely get there early and drink it all in provided price is no object. So over to our table and let the fun begin.....

Pea, ham and eggs is anything but the plain, simple fare it sounds like. A pea risotto is served in a separate saucepan and zings with freshness. A hen's egg is lightly breaded and fried. Ham hock is tender and salty. Classic ingredients that can never marry badly together.





A dressed crab with coriander, apple and lemon juice is perfectly seasoned and not a shard of shell in sight. At £20 it may well be the most expensive starter I've ever ordered but is really good (and felt pretty virtuous compared to my usual creamy sauce and foie gras based starters - the skinny blondes must be having an effect on me!)





The skinny effect wore off pretty quickly with the onset of the main course, a giant slab bearing a sizeable chunk of rare cow; chateaubriand and roast artichoke (£80 for two). A decent char on the outside gave way to tender and flavoursome flash on the inside.






Truffle macaroni cheese was something of a disappointment. Not enough sauce and, despite the slices of summer truffle on the top, not a very deep truffle flavour to the overall dish sadly.  Could do better Berners Tavern!



Some of the wines are priced a little on the hyper inflated side. £170 for a 2000 Chateau Gloria compared to just under £50 retail. The third wine from Chateau Margaux 2009 was £120 compared to £63 in Mission. Granted the overheads are higher here and they are tied by hotel pricing but its still the same bottle of wine…. We let the sommelier go freestyle on a maximum budget of £60 and he came up with a biodynamic red from the Languedoc. I think I've got some way to go on my wine tasting odyssey before I'm going to truly appreciate the merits of organic/biodynamic. Too often I find them a little musty and the haze you frequently find is unappealing (let alone all this "you mustn't drink it on a root or leaf day" nonsense). This may make me a philistine granted but there you have it. I found this particular Roussillon a little thin and lacking the substance to stand up to beef and macaroni. It certainly wasn't a bad wine but I wouldn't rush to order it again.


I was waaaaaay too full for dessert. Sorry. An Uber whisked me off into the night to dream of food. 



Would I go back?: If you are really trying to impress or its a special occasion, yes definitely, do it! I might suggest it to someone on expenses.

Highlights: The venue, its just gorgeous. 

Summary: A pricey night out but a reliably delicious one that does make you feel special. 

7/10

Berners Tavern

10 Berners Street, London, W1T 3NP
0207 9087979

Berners Tavern on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Smokehouse


Like most of the rest of the London 'Big Smoke', I love barbecue. More than that though I love barbecue without all the machismo and hype that often accompanies it. Its generally associated with grease, excess and gluttony but why could it not be subtle and measured? Chef Neil Rankin is known for doing good barbecue in a relaxed atmosphere (ex Pitt Cue, John Salt..) but has strong roots in classic cookery having worked at multiple Michelin starred locations. This combination makes for delicious, smoky food with exacting balance of flavour and texture- something you don't often find in my experience. This all means that its not your common or garden ribs 'n wings, its more about using smoking in unexpected ways. 

That in itself is surely worth a pilgrimage? I'll be honest; for a South of the River girl it is a little bit of a schlep. All the way to Highbury & Islington and then a good ten minute walk. Just as you're starting to tire and expire from hunger you round a corner and outside a very plain looking pub we were greeted by this:



Well quite. Bring it on. 

Inside the design is simple and light and airy during the day but cosy at night, lots of wood, mismatching furniture and church candles. Outside there is a walled garden full of greenery and tiny fairy lights- possibly the perfect pub garden feeling a million miles away from the rest of Islington. One of the joys of Smokehouse is that whilst its definitely a restaurant menu on offer, it is still run very much as a pub with plenty of space for casual drinking. 




This being barbecue, we are firmly in craft beer land. The range on offer is truly mind boggling with a board of almost unlimited wittily named options; Weird Beard, Flying Dog, Beavertown and Anchor Steam all sound nothing like the beer that they contain. The wine list is dominated by a pretty comprehensive trip around Italy, Spain and France, reasonably priced with plenty of sub £30 options and contains a couple of my Gascon favourites from Plaimont Producteurs. If you've never had a Pacherenc before try the St Albert here, at £3.50 a glass it would be criminal not to. 

The staff are all young and very enthusiastic and all to keen to explain the background to any of the dishes. At their recommendation we kicked off with a potted smoked duck leg on toast giving us a first hint at the deep, dark smokiness instilled by the green egg barbecues favoured by Rankin. Staying succulent under a seal of peppered, clarified butter this was a taste of things to come.




Determined to try out some of the non barbecue bits we ordered a courgette flower stuffed with Fourme d'Ambert & honey. Utterly delicious but not in the slightest bit pretty so you're not getting a photo. It was also a lovely change to have a delicate blue cheese in the flower instead of the usual goats cheese. 

It took a long time to order main courses due entirely to our inability to choose. We finally settled on Shortrib Bourguignon (£17.50) which is an almost unrecognisable spin on the classic and essentially consists of  a large chunk of smoked beef shortrib on the bone with a thick wine sauce, crispy onions and a super smooth Mr Whippy style mash. Really absolutely nothing to fault. Seemingly held together only by the sticky sauce coating the outside, it fell apart with the slightest prod of a fork into perfect strands of deeply smoky meat.


The somewhat innocuous sounding "Grilled salmon, radish peanut & green chilli" (£16.50) turned out to be mindblowingly spicy. Cooked delicately and still surprisingly moist, it was unfortunately a little overpowered by the spice. That said, I get the feeling that meat is what these guys do best. It isn't all meat, meat, meat though; there are plenty of options for vegetarians so don't shy away from letting them come along for the outing. 

Speaking of spice we had also ordered a side of Korean pulled pork; well why wouldn't you? Light and a little crispy with a gently building heat searing past the sweetness, its beyond good, its fantastic. What we couldn't eat came home and was possibly even better the following day.


The almost rans included a highland burger topped with that same Korean pulled pork (£15) and the very dramatic sounding "The Sphere" which, contrary to sounding like a Saturday night gameshow, is actually a construction of smoked ham hock, pigs cheek, squid romesco and fregola (£18).  A smoked duck, kimchi and potato cake (£19) sounded pretty delicious too and smelt it as a plate of it drifted past leaving us craning our necks behind it. 

Dessert almost didn't happen. We were stuffed to the gills with meat in an almost undignified way but then that second stomach thing happened. You know, that little bit of space that seems to stay free no matter what you eat? Yeah, it came into play and a DD Tart (apparently an homage to and pimping up of the lowly Double Decker) was ordered at our waiter's recommendation.  It could/should have been very sickly indeed but a thick, dark, bitter chocolate ganache kept things away from too sweet on the top of a crunchy base of cocoa pops in white chocolate (£6.50). 


A trend seems to be developing recently for pictures involving the loos in my posts so this one will be no exception. Antlers host those ever crucial spare loo rolls. Great quirk. 


Whenever I eat out I always try and order something that I'm not likely to be able to make at home which is perhaps why I found it so hard to choose what to eat here. Although the emphasis is on comfort food, the big plates and simple presentation conceal real skill and innovation of cooking.

Would I go back? If it was more local to me I'd be there for Sunday lunch more often than a vicar goes to church but due solely to distance its more of a once in a while trip. 

Highlights: Shortrib & mash.

Summary: Excellent carnivorous comfort food

7.5/10

Smokehouse
63-69 Canonbury Road, Islington, London. N1 2DG
0207 3541144
Smokehouse on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Colombo: Galle Face Green

I don't know about you but I am an expert people watcher. I get it from my mother. My brother calls it just plain nosey but I'd like to think I'm just super observant and good at taking in my surroundings. At least that's what I call it.  Galle Face Green in Colombo is an excellent place to sharpen those well-honed people watching skills and is a fascinating snapshot into leisure time in Sri Lanka.

Dusk begins to fall and the Green gets busier and busier as parents finish work and bring their children to the shore.  The skyline becomes dotted with kites dancing in the breeze as people weave in and out, dodging competing kite strings and chasing their aerial toys.




Whole families kick off their shoes and paddle in the foamy waves crashing onto the sand.







Even soggy monks get in on the action




Lovebird couples stroll along the waterfront or steal kisses hidden under umbrellas unfurled in the pretence of blocking out the sun.






Small green huts dotted along the promenade offer various types of street food usually involving prawns in every incarnation you can think of...



Street vendors call out offering all kinds of mystery goods...



Brightly coloured inflatables and windmills draw admiring glances from awestruck toddlers


Most of all though, it feels like a very happy carefree place to be.

If you're thirsty or just need some time away from the hustle and bustle head next door to the Galle Face Hotel for a pot of Ceylon tea or an early evening cocktail. First constructed in 1864 it has managed to retain a lot of its old world charm. It was under renovation when I visited (and will be until the end of 2014) but despite the builders you can still see hints of the beautiful colonial architecture.  If you sit in the garden there is a fair chance you will be visited by one of these inquisitive chaps….

Monday, 23 June 2014

Galvin Bistrot de Luxe

I have a very long list of places in London that I'm itching to visit and Galvin BdL was not on it. I have never had any particular aversion to it, its just not somewhere that had enough reasons to be alluring - no crazy innovation, no 'new place' buzz, slightly fiddly location from home/work, the list goes on. There must be hundreds of places in London in a similar boat; they had their moment in the press and were once an 'it' place and now they carry on with a local committed clientele punctuated by the odd TopTable deal. But that was before I tried their tarte tatin …  




I was there on an early dining package menu with a group of girlfriends (three courses and a glass of kir royale for £26) and my first pleasant surprise was that this isn't one of those places where those on a "deal" are treated as subordinate to the a la carte customers (I'm glaring at you L'Autre Pied). All the dishes are on their a la carte menu as well so these aren't "specials" using cheaper/ left over ingredients, you are getting the real McCoy. 

As soon as you enter there is no question whatsoever as to the nationality of the food on offer. Dark wooden floors and wall panelling punctuated by mirrors along with startched white table cloths and wooden bamboo back chairs are unmistakably Gallic. Service is of the old school French variety minus the sterotypical rudeness, in fact all the waiters are rather lovely. 



The food on offer cannot be described as unusual or imaginative. What it is, however, is traditional food cooked and presented well. Very well in fact. Most of our group kicked off with a plate of the thinnest most delicate slices of cured smoked salmon, edged with a dill-dominated herb pesto and topped with blinis and a  quenelle of fromage blanc.



I opted for ham hock terrine. One of those deceptively simple French dishes where one can look no different to the next but the flavour varies greatly. This one was well seasoned with a welcome crunch of texture from pistachio nuts.  Pickled baby onions and cornichons helped cut through any greasiness from the meat. No complaints here. 




The smoothest pomme puree you can find (replete with copious butter and cream no doubt!) was a rich foil to a caramelised crusted calve's liver with onions and Alsace bacon which I'm told was a complete winner although a very large portion for something so rich (but better too much than too little in my opinion).




I've never quite managed to get to grips with liver so went for the vegetarian option; Norfolk asparagus with a poached Burford egg on a bed of polenta.  The polenta was unfortunately seemingly completely unseasoned and needed a good dose of pepper as well as some salt, despite the parmesan shavings. The asparagus was a thing of perfection though, the woody, chewy bits peeled away and asparagus cooked to soft but not floppy topped with a soft orange yolked egg popped open to ooze over the asparagus.




The wine list was decent with plenty of options at all price points and we plumped for a perfectly quaffable Picpoul de Pinet at £26. 

GBdL are justly very proud of their tarte tatin, the apples a dark, rich brown with caramel topped off with a sweet, crispy, pastry base (no soggy bottoms here). It was definitely one to rival the best that I have eaten.

It wasn't all perfect (see polenta above) but in general it was a well executed bistro menu. Main courses are in the mid twenties a la carte and desserts £6.50- £8.50 so its the upper end of mid range for a bistro. I suspect that there is an element of resting on their laurels though. Many of the accolades on their website and the certificates lining the corridors leading to the toilet are several years old.  There are also a good deal more french bistro/brasserie type venues that have sprung up since many of the original reviews of GBdL (Zedel, Chavot, Little Social to name but a few). That said, if you want good, traditional French brasserie food done well in the Baker Street area then you can do much worse

7/10 (but I'm basing that on my early dining priced package)

Bistro Galvin de Luxe
66 Baker St, London W1U 7DJ
020 7935 4007


Galvin Bistrot de Luxe on Urbanspoon Square Meal

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Dabbous

I am pretty sure that unless you have been hiding under a gastronomic stone for the last couple of years you will have heard of Dabbous. Opened in early 2012 to immediate critical acclaim, chef Ollie Dabbous' first restaurant became virtually instantaneously unbookable.  I sent an email back in May 2013 enquiring as to when I could book a table and received a prompt, polite but firm response notifying me that every table for 2013 was booked but I could lodge an enquiry from September for 2014. Yes, you did read that right; because they don't operate a 30 or 60 day policy like many places they were booked up for the entirety of 2013. Madness. This sort of hype can be dangerous and catching. After all, surely if its still this full two years after opening it must be amazing, no?

The critical acclaim was added to in 2013 when Dabbous was awarded its first Michelin star. That said, its like no other Michelin location I know of in London. Walls have the now ubiquitous crumbling concrete and plaster, the dining room ressembles the stark, metal gridded set of the recent Donmar staging of Coriolanus, I half expected a naked Tom Hiddlestone to be winched down on a chain between courses (it didn't happen unfortunately). Tables in the restaurant are packed close together risking bruising from sharp furniture leaving me wondering whether I would summarise Dabbous as painfully hip or painful hips...



Oskar's Bar downstairs has an extensive cocktail menu and offers a limited menu. When we arrived it was pretty empty so would be a good way to get a taste of Dabbous without the almost interminable wait for a table. Speaking of tables, after finishing two very well made cocktails we went upstairs with increasingly grumbly tummies, so far so good. 

We had been hoping to have a matching wine flight with the menu but couldn't find one in the list and the sommelier didn't mention or suggest one despite our prevarication trying to find one wine to match all the dishes, it was only at dessert time that we found it nestled away on the inside back cover which was a bit of a shame.

We settled on an ever reliable JJ Prum Riesling on the basis that its medium dry so works with a wider range of dishes (it was particularly fab with the coddled egg). The wine list is reasonably extensive without being too crazy off the wall. 



The first course arrived swiftly. Fat, dark green English asparagus spears served with virgin rapeseed oil mayonnaise and crumbled hazelnuts. It was very tasty undoubtedly. It did, however, seem to me that whilst its great to have wonderful ingredients showcased through simple plating and service, there is an argument that it is just asparagus and mayonnaise. Its not exactly highly technical. 



A bowl of avocado, basil and almonds in a chilled osmanthus broth followed. Certainly imaginative and clever in the marriage of flavours and very pretty tasting due to the osmanthus, I can't help but think that I might have liked it to be warm. 


Vulturous, circling serving staff tried to swoop repeatedly on our broth bowls (three in less than two minutes) leading us to sit with our spoons aloft in mid air purely to create a hiatus in an otherwise brisk gallop of a meal. The table next to us asked to slow down, the thumping beat of the music creating a slightly frenetic pace for both service and consumption that was not terribly relaxing.

Just as I wondered if I was staring down the barrel of a tasting menu to rival the "emperor's new clothes" of Restaurant Story along came the coddled egg with smoked butter.  A thing of such beauty & perfection comes along so rarely; silky smooth and like a warm blanket for my tongue I felt like I could have eaten an ostrich egg sized one but in reality probably couldn't it was so rich. I can't begin to properly describe quite how utterly wonderful this course was. 




Things carried on in the same inventive and delicious vein with the arrival of barbecued octopus with muscadel grapes.  An explosion of sweet juice from each grape contrasted the char on the outside of the octopus tentacles. Octopus can be a tricky beast but this one was soft and tender without a hint of rubber which must be a bit of an undertaking to barbecue. I could merrily have ploughed on eating portion after portion until I'd munched all eight tentacles but the next course beckoned.


Pulled veal with white asaparagus and summer truffle was tasty and I'd quite happily eat it again but not particularly memorable in comparison with the egg or octopus dishes.


I'm sorry to report that things then derailed slightly. Lovage ice was revolting, not a word I use lightly but completely applicable here. There are some things that are creative and interesting but should never actually be eaten and this is one of them. A blast of very intense, savoury, celery-like flavour but cold and frozen. Let's move swiftly on. 



The final course of the tasting menu was listed as "barley flour sponge soaked in red tea with Tahitian vanilla cream". It was perhaps not as pretty as many of the previous courses but more substantial and a nice eat. Essentially a baba like heavy sponge with sweet Chantilly cream, I'd challenge anyone to object to it but equally it was hard to get too excited about. 



I would summarise it as a very tasty baba that would have been even tastier with the addition of rum. Then again I find that most things become tastier with the addition of rum but maybe that's just me?

Where Dabbous is sadly let down is on the service front which I would categorise as lackadaisical with an insouciant air of cool. Male serving staff are all of the bearded and braced variety missing only a Quaker hat but perfectly genial. The girls are all size eight or below and some had that slightly dead-in-the-eyes look that comes from extreme hunger and boredom and exude an air of processing tables swiftly so the annoying people will leave.

Whilst they have a basic knowledge of the dishes being served that doesn't extend to detail about the ingredients used. My favourite interaction related to some really very delicious tiny waka mono green baby peaches from Japan served at the end of our meal. Or more specifically from Fukishima, a detail volunteered by our waitress. "Are you sure?" was our measured reply bearing in mind irradiated power stations and all that. The response came "well that's where my boss told me they were from but he might have been joking". I'm still none the wiser.  Other similar questions around ingredients or dishes were met with rather quizzical looks. Not your average Michelin star service. 



Between the volume of the dance beat based background soundtrack and the proximity of tables  to one another, you will hear everything from your neighbour's table and they you.  To our left two very amiable chaps were planning a baritone ukelele tribute to Leonard Cohen trio (fabulous idea and initiated a very fun conversation) and to our right a very Eurotrash couple were discussing the ins and outs of their friends' multiple divorces and transnational custody battles (less fun). The point being that we were so conscious of being able to hear everything they said that our own conversation was very stilted and limited to talk about our meal rather than catching up on our own gossip. 

Price wise it is pitched at the right level for the food and the experience at £59 for the tasting menu. A set lunch (£28) and dinner menu (£48) are also on offer for 4 courses. 

Dabbous is worth a visit just for those flashes of brilliance found in the coddled egg and the barbecue octopus but other dishes were not so great and its not a relaxing experience or somewhere that I would like to take someone for a special occasion. The egg is on the bar menu along with a rather delicious sounding beef shortrib sandwich so my temptation would be just to pop in for a cocktail and snack combination rather than fighting/ waiting for another booking.

6.5/10

Dabbous
39 Whitfield St, London WIT 2SF
020 7323 1544


Dabbous on Urbanspoon  Square Meal