There was an awful lot of buzz around the opening of restaurant Dabbous earlier this year and the restaurant managed to get a Michelin star within its first year.
Getting a reservation for restaurant Dabbous is akin to scoring a ticket to the world cup final; the restaurant is booked out for months in advance. When a restaurant garners so much publicity it usually is a let down and we were keen to see if in the case of Dabbous, the hype was justified.
Restaurant Dabbous: Celeriac with muscat grapes, lovage & hazelnuts (8.5/10)
Restaurant Dabbous: Coddled free range hen egg with woodland mushrooms and smoked butter (9/10)
Restaurant Dabbous: Braised halibut with coastal herbs (8/10)
Olly Dabbous, the head chef, clearly comes from good stock (Fat Duck, Noma and Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons), but we didn’t quite know what to expect in terms of the food. In order to familiarise ourselves with his style of cooking we decided to go for the tasting menu, which on that day consisted of:
- Hispi cabbage with sunflower (8/10)
- Celeriac with muscat grapes, lovage & hazelnuts (8.5/10)
- Coddled free range hen egg with woodland mushrooms and smoked butter (9/10)
- Braised halibut with coastal herbs (8/10)
- Barbecued Iberico pork, savory acorn praline, turnip tops, homemade apple vinegar (8/10)
- Extra course: Artisanal cheese from the British Isles, baked apple and toasted sourdough (8/10)
- Ripe pear with perilla (8/10)
- Chocolate soaked brioche, barley malt ice cream, azuki beans & pecan (8/10)
Restaurant Dabbous: Barbecued Iberico pork, savory acorn praline, turnip tops, homemade apple vinegar (8/10)
The cooking is somewhat in the style of Ledbury, Texture, The Kitchen Table or Roganic. The cooking at Dabbous is very accomplished and flavour combinations are different and daring. Kudos to the chef. However, the Ledbury and Texture do it better and are in a league of their own. In terms of originality for me, Viajante blows just about any other restaurant out of the water.
Restaurant Dabbous: Artisanal cheese from the British Isles, baked apple and toasted sourdough (8/10)
In short, the Michelin star for Dabbous is deserved, but I wouldn’t rank it among London’s absolute best restaurants.
Restaurant Dabbous: Ripe pear with perilla (8/10)
In terms of the service, there is little to fault Dabbous. However, we did notice that the sommelier was very stand-offish and distant towards us while very friendly and jovial towards the table next to us…maybe he disapproved that we only ordered wine by the glass, dunno and don’t care. Other than that the service at Dabbous was very good.
Dabbous: Chocolate soaked brioche, barley malt ice cream, azuki beans & pecan (8/10)
In total we bill at Dabbous came to £168 (incl. 2 glasses of wine, 2 mocktails, bottle of water, an extra cheese course and service charge), which is fair price for the meal we had.
Overall rating for restaurant Dabbous: 8/10
(The rating is based on quality of ingredients, cooking, ambience and price)