There’s a vibrancy to being in a city where everything is unknown, a strange thrill to suddenly being surrounded by literally hundreds of new places to eat. I’ve been wandering around London for the last 3 months enjoying the markets, pop-up restaurants, food trucks and all sorts of small wonderful things.
It’s a birthday celebration that ultimately breaks through the writer’s block that’s been plaguing me the last few months. Good food, white wine and friends – that combination will fix anything.
There’s a waiting list of approximately 6 months for Dabbous, our booking was made back in April, and it’s my luck (and someone else’s misfortune) that I’m able to squeeze onto the table. There’s a considerable amount of hype behind Dabbous, but tonight we’re here for a celebration and the £54 tasting menu.
There’s a lot of fun and whimsy when it comes to the food, carb-tastic slices of bread are served up in timestamped paper bags along with a massive dollop of beautifully salted butter.
A crisp wedge of Hispi cabbage, the perfect size for dunking in its small tub of Aioli and sunflower seeds and the curious combination of Celeriac with muscat grapes which stuns visually but doesn’t quite work for me tastewise.
Easily one of Dabbous’ most photographed dishes, the Coddle free range hen egg causes a flurry of camera phones and sighs of contentment at the first taste. These are the eggs you wish you could have every Saturday morning for brunch, velvety and buttery it’s not for the faint of heart and I devoured it in moments.
With the starters well and truly over, the Grilled mackerel is presented as two delicately sliced fillets peeking out coyly beneath a blanket of samphire (which I’d never even heard of til now lol). The mackerel is an unassuming taste, flaking delicately it’s helped along by the kick of the sour cream.
I’ve developed a fascination with Pork the last few months, it’s become my go-to meat dish and the Barbecued Iberico pork doesn’t disappoint. Perhaps it’s my asian background, but at the first mouthful my only thought is, ‘Char Siu?!’, the sweet richness immediately brings that taste forward and it’s complimented by the nutty acorn praline.
Our stomaches have dictated that there is indeed no room for cheese (sad Minh), but dessert is a quick 1-2 punch of fruit and chocolate which sees me clutching at my food belly, but in an entirely good way. The figs are perfectly ripe and with the fresh milk curds are a beautifully simple dessert.
Our last dessert arrives with a small special touch, a candle for the birthday girl Addyness! It’s an explosion of chocolate, beans and pecans just saved from being too rich by a lovely textured ice cream. It’s both with regret and thankfulness that I finally put down my spoon by the end of dinner.
I’m glad I had no idea of the hype behind Dabbous before eating there, like every meal I’ve eaten there were hits and misses with the menu but the hits, oh so memorable (the entire time I’ve been writing this I could swear I could still taste the buttery-egg goodness).
At £54 for 7 courses I think it’s amazing value for a great night out, just one that might need to be planned a little further in advance!.
39 Whitfield Street
London W1T 2SF
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