Dabbous: London's best new restaurant
|Coddled egg with woodland mushrooms and smoked butter|
I heard about Dabbous via user restaurant reviews on Bloomberg before the big hitters like the Evening Standard showered it with five stars. Thankfully I booked a few weeks back and had the choice of sittings. Now Dabbous is booked out for the next two months. They deserve to be as this was one of the best meals I've had in London for a long time.
|Salad of fennel, lemon balm and pickled rose petals|
The dishes are on the small, tapas-sized side, so they suggest ordering around five courses if you go a la carte. With a few people I think you could sample a good chunk of the menu in one night. We chose the tasting menu, however, which is £49 for seven courses. For another £9 you can get a cheese course too (and I'd suggest you do).
|Celeriac with muscatel grapes, burnet, hazelnuts|
Next was celeriac with muscatel grapes, burnet and hazelnuts. My view of celeriac was changed forever after eating it simply roasted in Copenhagen a few months ago. This dish was a just a few shavings of celeriac, paired with sweet grapes, roasted hazelnuts and "celeriac jus" poured over. This dish was really the essence of the main ingredient. Wonderful.
The coddled free range egg was next. It's gently cooked with wild mushrooms and served in an egg shell inviting you to dig in from its little hay nest. One of the most visually appealing dishes matching the earthy nature of the morsel itself.
|Roast King Crab with warm buttermilk an Hispi cabbage|
|BBQ Iberico Pork, savoury acorn praline, turnip tops, apple vinegar|
Five courses in, but since portion sizes aren't huge we opt for the cheese course too and I'm glad we did. Four British cheeses, ranging from goat to blue with some warm baked apple and sourdough toasts. A really fine selection.
|Cucumber and perilla in a chilled lemon verbena infusion|
|Choc & hazelnut oil ganache, basil moss, sheep's milk ice cream|
The final flourish was a dish titled chocolate and virgin hazelnut oil ganache, basil moss, sheep's milk ice cream. There was also some crunchy chocolate meringue and a green smear of delightfully intense dill paste. This was as good as it sounds and again very textural. The basil moss was a like a fine granita, complimenting the denser sheep milk ice cream. Rich but not cloying.
|The bread comes in dated paper bags with home-made butter|
There is clear passion in Dabbous. You can taste it in the food and you can see it in the staff. It's only February, but I think this place will be hard to beat for the title of London's best new restaurant. I've only tasted seven dishes and there's a lot more on the menu that I want to eat. Sadly for me, I'll have to wait a couple months before I can, but I hope to see you there.