03 Jan Dabbous
So as a farewell gesture to 2014, we brought ourselves to Dabbous, for the first time. This place is notoriously difficult to book, but we got it on the first try, I guess the charm of an empty December and a 30 day advanced period really helped.
First impression when we walked in: the industrial design with dark wood fittings, washed out concrete walls, bare pipes, steel mesh wine racks / screens really brings together a unique, edgy beauty to this restaurant.
I have really fallen in love with Negroni as the aperitif of choice, and have been ordering it in almost all places I visit, and this time, the Barrel Aged Negroni from Oskar’s Bar did not disappoints. The barrel added a slight depth and richness to the taste. I may just try doing this myself once I have some space in the house to do it, if I can find a whisky barrel, of course…
CaDao loves sweet things, so this “Statutory Grape” with condense milk was an easy pick. Although I must say I am not as much a fan of such sweet cocktails as she is.
Home-made seeded sour dough bread and freshly churned butter: we just could not have enough of this. The bread was warm, crispy and fragrant, and the butter was heavenly soft and rich.
Home-cured goose with fenugreek: the meat is flavourful and has a lovely chewy texture, and the strip of fat just melt away in your mouth.
Celeriac, muscat grapes, lovage and hazelnuts: I just love this second dish! The celeriac was fresh, crunchy and sweet, and the grapes were a great touch. They were like little marbles filled with sweetness and sourness, ready to burst upon every bite. Wrapping everything into a mouthful, and true harmony would be achieved.
Dumplings with cream & thotumn truffle: the truffle smelled good, but somehow once you combine it with the dumpling and cream, the taste became overwhelmed by the cream. I did no fancy this one too much.
Grilled langoustines, fennel pollen & virgin rapeseed oil mayonnaise: the langoustines (or as you would normally refer to them, scampis) were sweet and succulent, and the mayonnaise did well to add a smooth fatty side. My only complaint would be the size of the portion, I could really do with another two, but hey, I guess one of the tricks in this business is to leave your diners longing for more.
Barbecued grain-fed beef, warm horseradish buttermilk, pickle & rye breadcrumps: everything in this dish complement each other in wonderful fashion. The beef was smoky, tender and juicy, and the buttermilk was just so good it could easily have taken centre stage if the beef were any lesser than what we had on that plate. The pungency flavour of horseradish came in just the right level of moderation, and what would be better to go with such wonderful beef?
Iced sorrel: interesting as a palate cleanser…sour and sweet, but to be honest, it was more like a nice novelty item than anything special to me.
Earl grey pudding: soft and light, airy texture, with hints of citrus bitterness.
To close meal, we were given two pieces of cigar leaf caramel chocolate. Sweet and smooth, with certain spikes of tingling sensation at the back of the mouth. Now that I am sitting here writing about it, I wish they sold these in boxes, maybe they do and I just never asked.
All in all, I really liked Dabbous, and found the pricing relatively reasonable. Would definitely come back in the near future.