22nd Jul 2012 11:34am | By Carol Driver
This is the brainchild of chef Ollie Dabbous – revered for his experimental cuisine – and has become one of the most talked-about restaurants in London.
The scene: The interior boasts minimalist warehouse-chic decor – uncovered lightbulbs hang from ropes; there’s a bare concrete floor; and exposed ducts run along the ceiling.
There’s a masculine-styled area on the lower floor, with leather chairs, wooden benches and a concrete bar.
The venue is like something you’d find in the meatpacking district of New York, and although it may sound pretentious, it’s actually very cool.
Dabbous is not just the preserve of the super-trendy, though – there are young couples, groups of friends, old marrieds – and not a pair of skinny jeans in sight.
The grub: If anything, the understated design means our attention is focused on the food. This is an upmarket affair, and, fittingly, there’s a sommelier on hand to help choose our wine.
We order the tasting menu – eight courses of tiny works of art unlike anything that has passed our lips before: alliums in a chilled pine infusion (sweet onions in a delicious broth); coddled free-range hen egg with woodland mushrooms and smoked butter in a shell on a bed of straw; braised halibut with lemon verbena; and barbecued Iberico pork.
We finish off with the chocolate ganache basil moss served with sheep’s-milk ice cream, which is amazing, and designed to look like a small piece of forest.
The entire evening, from food and drink to service and atmosphere, is faultless – this is a proper dining experience.
Behind the bar: A funky cocktail list offers bespoke drinks, including a beer mix that works incredibly well.
There’s also reasonably priced champagne, a spot-on selection of top-notch wines, and all the usuals on offer.
Bill please: Starters from £6; mains from £12; desserts from £4; cocktails from £8.50; wine from £5.50 a glass; champagne from £7 a glass.
Verdict: After dining here, going back to burger and chips will seem incredibly dull. Just go and try – you won’t regret it.
Whitfield St, W1T 2S
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