It’s been a while since a restaurant has made quite such an immediate impact on London the way Dabbous did following it’s opening in May. Bursting onto the Fitzrovia scene with a relatively unknown culinary genius behind the wheels created an instant interest, which resulted in the notorious Fay Maschler giving one of her highest restaurant ratings in the last three years and hailing it a ‘game-changer’. Olly Dabbous trained with the best of the best before opening Dabbous as his first solo venture, which now sees diners waiting until October 2013 for a booking (believe me, I’ve tried).
Anyway, amongst all of the hurrah, word was spreading within the foodie community about how to actually get into Dabbous, sit at an actual table, and eat the actual food. Following several months of googling the now famous Coddled Egg and reading every blog going, I- with a few colleagues from Story PR- decided to put the myth into practise.
Step one: pick a random weeknight
Step two: leave work at 6pm on the dot
Step three: try and get a table in the restaurant
Step four: settle for a table in the bar
Step five: order the food that overlaps between the restaurant and bar menus
Settled in the candlelit underground bar, we began by ordering a range of cocktails. Dabbous has a fantastic list including everything from the old traditionals, to the latest craze in beer cocktails and the damn right unusual. Considering the thought that had gone into this dinner, namely including discussing the menu everyday prior to our visit, ordering was a piece of cake. We, of course, had to have the coddled egg, mainly because I’d been talking about it like a broken record for the past few months. As well as the egg, we ordered the crispy chicken wings with fenugreek and toasted garlic sauce, wagyu steak sandwich with tabacco butter and Iberico pork with acorn praline to share because, quite frankly, we didn’t want to miss a thing.
The coddled egg is served in it’s own little nest and is mixed with smoked butter and woodland mushrooms. Essentially it is the best possible full English breakfast contained in one solitary egg. The smoked butter added a creaminess, but also replicated the salty smokiness of bacon. The mushrooms were meaty and added a delicious umami element. And as for the egg itself- beautifully deep in colour and holding its own flavour against the other components easily. It’s become iconic, and for a very good reason.
However, I cannot overlook the other sensational dishes placed in front of us. The chicken had a thick crispy skin, salty and complimentary against the creamy garlic dipping sauce. The wagyu steak, again something I’d been longing to try, melted in the mouth and had an extremely delicate flavour against the caramelised onions and tobacco butter. Again, the Iberico pork was succulent, squashing all my preconceptions of tough, bland meat. The acorn praline resembled a premium peanut butter and a little added to the pork created a perfectly balanced mouthful.
Having finish our ‘starter’ and ‘main course’ we decided it probably best to draw out the evening with a few more cocktails before desert, it was only 7.15pm after all. Following some more fantastic cocktails, especially the Disco Rhubarb, we again ordered a selection for desert. Apple cake with chilled rice milk, iced lemon verbena infusion with cucmber and perilla and the British cheese board gave us a varied taster of what was on offer. They were, of course, beautifully presented and tasted every bit as good as they looked. The cheese board with spiced apple was a particular highlight. Dabbous is the epitome of fine dining. I enjoyed the menu so much I’ve treated myself to a REAL booking for lunch on 4th April. Lets hope I don’t forget it!