Back in September i managed to book a table at the much raved about and notoriously hard to get into Dabbous in Soho. Elix, Bex and I went last night and it can only be described as 7 courses of culinary heaven.
Bex is leaving me to go to Colombia for 6 months and this was the perfect way to see her off and have a little pre- Christmas celebration of her now being Bex MSc aswell!
There are two choices at Dabbous – a 7 course tasting menu or a 4 course set menu. Naturally being the greedy pigs Elix and I are we elected the tasting menu which is possibly the best decision we’ve ever made – every single part of both the food and the whole experience was insanely good and Dabbous has definitely made it into my Top 5 meals ever.
For such a popular, fine food restaurant Dabbous has a very chilled and quirky feel to it – staff are informal and friendly and decor is bare-brick walls, exposed lighting and dark wooden furniture. With only about 30 seats its nice and intimate never feeling overwhelming or too busy and allowing us to take our time between courses and spend an hour after we finished eating chatting with our wine.
We started with juicy green olives and freshly baked seeded bread which came warm and in a brown paper bag. Bex and I shared an Argentinian Malbec (Bex is the only person i know who shares my love of very rich, spicy and heavy red wines), Elix went for a glass of the house white which was Casa Maria Verdejo Blanco from Spain – both were delicious and thoroughly enjoyed all the way through the meal.
Course One arrived – muscat grapes and almond milk. A cold refreshing start to the flight – the chilled, creamy milk was poured over the sweet grapes and almonds providing a delicate palate cleanser.
Onto Course Two – the infamous, signature dish of lard on toast. For something which sounds stodgy and, il be honest, not particularly appealing it far surpassed the assumption. A thinly sliced, toasted piece of ciabatta topped with a delicate layer of creamy, buttery lard and shavings of truffle. Truffle was smooth and woody and entirely delicious.
Course Three was one of my favourites – the coddled egg. This was an egg shell filled with a soupy mixture of egg and thinly sliced mushrooms – a beautifully rich and warming course, presented in a bowl of hay, tasted and looked delicious.
Meal Four – Cod wrapped in Pine with a Honey and Turnip dressing. The cod is cooked in the thin pine piece to retain its moisture, when the pine parcel is opened the piece of cod inside was juicy, perfectly cooked and full of flavour. The sweet, sticky dressing was a beautiful accompaniment to the cod.
The final savoury main was barbecued Beef with roasted onion and stichleton buttermilk. The lovely thing about tasting menus is that you try things you may not usually order and this dish for me was just that. Whilst i love beef i tend to order fish and seafood when im out and so this was a wonderful surprise and a rare treat. The beef was caramelised on the outside from the BBQ and melt-in-the-mouth delicious. The roasted onion was soft and sweet and a brilliant accompaniment to the strong, silky buttermilk sauce. A cooked stick of celery sprinkled with fine burnt breadcrumbs provided a crunch to the dish and we all polished off our plates wanting more.
Onto sweet things now and Course Six – pink grapefruit with jasmine and radish. Thinly sliced circles of crunchy white radish were arranged in a rose shape in a little bowl and the jasmine infused pink grapefruit juice poured over at the table. The dish was chilled, light and refreshing, the jasmine was delicate and grapefruit nice and sweet and not too bitter as is sometimes the case with grapefruit. Elix said her palate was confused eating radish as part of a sweet dish but I loved every bite/slurp!
Final course (we didn’t want it to end) and Dabbous certainly went out with a bang! Chocolate and hazelnut Ganache with Basil moss and Sheep’s Milk ice-cream. Hands down the best dessert i’ve ever tasted (sorry Jason Atherton – your Pollen St Social Coconut Panacotta is now Second place). The dessert looked amazing – things on the plate didn’t taste as they looked and the mixture of textures and flavours was uniquely beautiful. A swoosh of dill sauce surrounded the silky smooth, rich ganache which was topped with a crunchy chocolate brownie on top of which sat a beautiful spoonful of basil moss. The creamy, refreshing ice cream sat with chocolate crumbs and all topped with edible flowers and greenery. Words cant describe how delicious this course was but il try – scrumptious, chocolatey, balanced, clever, pretty, brilliant, tasty.
As a final cleanser we were brought a tiny bowl of Japanese Peaches which gave a soft little burst of sweetness at the end of the meal.
I cant think of a better way to spend an evening than at Dabbous with two of my favourite people in the world – the best food and company and somewhere i cant recommend enough for a visit – if you can get a table!