I had read so many great reviews about Dabbous that I was eagerly counting down the days until the night of our reservation. (Yes, it is best to book a table in advance and “in advance” may mean waiting a month or two.) It definitely lived up to all of the hype. All of the elements that go into a dining experience from the atmosphere, to the service, to the food and presentation combined harmoniously together into a wonderful experience.
The restaurant has a very industrial feel to it with part of the space being divided by thin iron frames. It reminded me of a theatre set in the midst of construction, which lent itself beautifully to the drama that was about to unfold on our table. Rather than adopting a singular style of cooking, the chef Ollie Dabbous has created a signature style all his own. His influences hail from a range of different countries, but the cohesive theme throughout all of his dishes is: beautiful food, combined in a way to highlight all of the natural and wonderful flavours in “deconstructed elegance” (totally borrowing that from our wonderful server).
Speaking of the service, it was some of the best I have received in London. Friendly and attentive, the server even laughed at my lame joke. Shall I spare you? No… I asked him what the “iced lovage” was on the dessert menu and after his explanation I jokingly quipped, “Oh good, I thought it may be an ice cube that you just all blew kisses at.” (Thereby through love it was delicious!) Here all night folks!
As far as naming highlights on the menu, we honestly enjoyed everything. Some things that stood out though were the coddled free range egg (my husband wanted to order another after the first bite) and the chocolate dessert with dill sauce. Brilliant! As the dishes are small, I do recommend going with a friend who likes to share so that you can order a sampling of dishes and really experience the full range of culinary prowess on show. I am already plotting my next visit and am looking forward to experiencing Dabbous Act 2.
Mixed alliums in a chilled pine infusion £5
Coddled free range hen egg with woodland mushrooms and smoked butter £7
English asparagus, virgin rapeseed oil mayonnaise, meadowsweet & hazelnuts £6
Charred salmon with elderflower, spring onions & almonds £12
Squid with seaweed, radishes & toasted buckwheat in a light broth £12
Barbecued halibut, iodized sour cream, beetroot & watercress stems £14
Iced lovage £4 (An amazing palate cleanser that was a celery and herb sorbet.)
Chocolate and virgin hazelnut oil ganache, dill moss, and sheep’s milk ice cream £7
Address: 39 Whitfield St, London W1T 2SF
Telephone: 0207 323 1544
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday 12:00pm to 3:00pm and 5:30pm to 11:30pm