Dabbous is the best restaurant in London right now. Fact. You’ll have to fight tooth and nail for a reservation, but I promise you, it’ll be worth it.
You enter via a big heavy door into a dark industrial styled room with about 10 tables seating between 2/4 and are greeted by one of two, efficient maitre de’s that take your coats and seat you with the minimum of fuss.
Well dressed, professional staff buzz around everywhere. And they are extremely knowledgable about the restaurant and the food being served. For example, asked about some of the more obscure ingredients on the menu, they were not only able to fully describe the ingredient, but also its flavour and how it compliments the dish. So passionately too. They are clearly encouraged to taste all the food that is prepared by the chefs and take pride in the food that is served and ethos of the restaurant.
And to the food. Which is incredible. You can either take the a la carte, or the tasting menu. Really, there is only one option. At c.60GBP, the tasting menu has to be the best value menu in the UK right now. 7 courses (incl cheese), each delicately prepared and perfectly seasoned. To name but a few, the pea/pine soup tasted like Christmas (pine trees), the coddled egg with mushrooms and smoked butter was so rich – it reminded me of some of the best French restaurants with a twist – and the BBQ iberico pork incredible. Overall, the menu was so well balanced both in terms of size and flavour. Perfect. The wine list was small but very functional.
The only slight downer would be the seating – its a little close together and I generally prefer a bit of space from other guests / intimacy when eating. But this minor point is not enough to knock down my rating…
Overall, I think what I like most is that the whole restaurant feels like its pulling in the same direction, striving for perfection, and you unknowingly buy into that. The staff are passionate, knowledgable and (critically) personable and the food is exquisite – there is good reason to be proud of this restaurant in the heart of London. A clear 5 stars.