It looks like OFM is going with a full-on Dabbous appreciation this weekend so I thought I’d jump in on the act. We managed to get a table there recently and it was never going to let us down.
The food was absolutely fantastic and Oliver Dabbous completely deserves all of the rave reviews (some good ones can be found here and here) The quality of the cooking is unquestionable and for just £50 a head it totally delivers.
First up was the asparagus with rapeseed oil mayonnaise and crushed hazelnuts (the recipe can be found here ) – no knives & forks, you simply ‘dip’ the asparagus in the mayo and then the hazelnuts and crack on, amazing!
The ‘mixed alliums in a chilled pine infusion’ came next and despite sounding quite dull on paper it was an absolute treat, perhaps the most daring dish on the menu. The onions were sweet and crunchy and were perfectly matched with the consomme. The small blobs of basil oil & fresh herbs added a nice touch too.
Everyone likes an egg – ’coddled hen’s egg with mushrooms and thyme’
Jay Rayner bangs on about this and he’s totally right, the smoked butter & earthy mushrooms make this the perfect scramble.
Next up was chargrilled salmon with spring onions, almonds and an elder flower sauce – I’m convinced there was an avocado puree lurking in there somewhere too but I may be mistaken. Either way it was great, the salmon had clearly been cured beforehand and the smokiness from the char grilling lifted it up a few notches.
The barbecued iberico pork was unlike any pork I’d ever tasted and sat on top of an almost satay-like sticky acorn praline. The turnip tops (a first) and apple vinegar provided the much needed balance to the dish, a real winner for bout ten quid.
The iced lovage sorbet was reminiscent of chewing grass when I was a kid, I think I liked it but I’m not sure how necessary it was.
To finish up we had the chocolate ganache, basil moss, dill, & sheep’s milk ice cream – all very nice (for me the basil moss was the highlight)
petits fours weren’t bad either although we didn’t need the two servings
Ok so that’s it, amazing.
My only real gripe was the house-baked bread being presented in a paper bag to “maintain the warmth and flavour of the bread” – this may be true but I felt it was a rather wanky touch, and seemed a bit out of place with the rest of the meal and the general vibe of the restaurant as a whole.
I’d definitely go back but it’s now booked-out until December and I imagine it will be fairly hard to get in to next year as well. It’s also only fifty quid (wines from bout £25+/bottle) and you can’t fault that – I can’t think of anywhere that’s close to competing with this in London. Best resto 2012? Easily.Dabbous http://dabbous.co.uk/ 39 Whitfield St, London. W1T 2SF