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Saturday, 31 May 2014

Dabbous Take Two

Anyone who is a regular reader of my blog will know how much I've been looking forward to my second visit to Dabbous.

I blogged about my first visit here, and was raving about it. After that incredible first visit (plus waiting 6 months for our table last night) our expectation levels were sky high when we turned up at 9pm with keen foodie friends, Andy and Fi.

Our table was running late so we started with cocktails in the bar downstairs. I chose my little friend (below) which they weren't featuring on their menu anymore, but happily they made one up specially. Brownie service points!

Handsome little fella!

We decided to order the tasting menu for the whole table.

We started with Dabbous' famous sourdough and hazelnut bread. Exceptionally well made, but sourdough really isn't my favourite's just a little too sour tasting for my liking (duh).

Our starter was asparagus with rapeseed mayonnaise and crushed hazelnuts, which we were told with no uncertain terms had to be eaten without cutlery. This was delicious, but not that revolutionary. Asparagus and hollandaise is aways a winner and I can't say that this was any better.

Then onto Dabbous' signature dish of aliums (onion family) and pine broth. This featured on the menu last time, and like last time, was my least favourite part of the menu. Very beautiful though.

Next up was my favourite coures - the surprising coddled egg with mushrooms and smoked butter. So decadent and unusual. An absolute winning combination.

I've been trying so hard to overcome my phobia of fish, starting with lobster in Spain last week. Therefore, rather than asking for a vegetarian option I went with the original option of King Crab, Hispi cabbage, Jersey Royals and garlic buttermilk. I will admit that the crab was incredibly juicy and lush (no hint of the dreaded fishiness), but I did not feel that the buttermilk complemented the dish in any way - it was far too rich and over powering.

Next up the meat course. Iberico pork with acorn praline and crushed apple. This was when I realised how disappointed I was with the whole menu. This dish was exactly the same as last time and distinctly underwhelming. There are also only so many crushed nuts you can eat in one meal.

Our palette cleanser was cucumber with lemon verbena. Extremely fresh and cleansing, but smelt exactly like the hand wipes you get after a curry!

Finally dessert - a real let down. Dabbous' food is extremely light and fresh and this is something which definitely needs applauding. Because of this, however, when you reach pudding, you are in need of something much richer and substantial. I'm not a massive chocolate lover, but I think a chocolate based dessert would have rounded off the meal perfectly - a fancy parfait, cheesecake or torte would have been great.

Instead, we got very lightly whipped vanilla cream with a soaked red tea sponge. A souped-up trifle. It didn't feel like as much effort had gone into this as the rest of the meal. The same goes for the presentation.

A note on the service which on the whole was pretty good. Although we had at least 6 different people serving us, which didn't give a great feeling of continuity and meant that we couldn't build up a proper rapport. Also, one male member of staff seemed more interested in checking out his appearance in the door of the wine cooler than being particularly attentive.

The rest of the evening was a wine addled blur, literally.

Maybe I've been a bit unfair on Dabbous. It was still very enjoyable, but there was nothing that I haven't seen before in various guises. The bill hit a big punch too when it came. They've added an extra £15 onto the tasting menu since this time last year. It was £59 each. Personally, I'd rather visit their bar downstairs for cocktails and bar snacks, or their little brother, Barnyard. I blogged about Barnyard here

Dabbous can be found on Whitfield Street. Closest tube is Goodge Street. Follow @DabbousLondon


  1. That's a big shame that your experience didn't live up to your expectations but nevertheless I enjoyed the review and I agree that £59 per person is a little too steep for my liking. Great going on the fish/seafood front, it'll open up an amazing new culinary world ;) Have enjoyed catching up on your blog - has gotten me inspired to explore various eateries and markets!! Hope you are otherwise well :)

    1. Hi Lucy, I'm really well, thanks. Busy looking forward to the summer holidays and enjoying the lovely weather we've been having. How's everything with you? x