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Monday 30 September 2013


List Dad Guest Post - Here is hopefully the first of many guest posts from List Dad, my father who has slightly more expensive tastes and a bigger budget to play with.  He will be bringing us some short write ups on London's best restaurants. First up - Dabbous:

Matt has been on at me for some time to occasionally 'guest' here with thoughts on my favourite restaurants. London has a huge diversity of places to eat (as witnessed by Matt's postings) and there is no need to be daunted by some of the top (even Michelin starred) places if you stick to the lunch menus and don't order expensive drinks.

My top restaurant is London is Dabbous in Whitfield Street (nearest station - Goodge Street) where word of mouth has made it THE place to eat since it opened in February last year.  Ollie Dabbous was unknown until he burst on the scene with a rare 5 star review from Fay Maschler in 'The Evening Standard'.  He now has one Michelin star, and should have two.  What is his secret?  Simple really - well-sourced ingredients, perfectly cooked by Ollie, and original flavour combinations.

Ollie Dabbous
His signature dish is perhaps his coddled egg with woodland mushrooms, served eye-catchingly in a brown egg shell on straw, but I haven’t had anything less than amazing on my four visits. Dishes this week included a salad of fennel, lemon balm and pickled rose petals, barbecued lamb shoulder with violet mustard and pickled vine leaves, and Scottish raspberries with barley and strained yoghurt.

Coddled Egg
As someone who always turns first to the desserts list on a menu, however, I should mention that the latter pudding was eclipsed on a previous occasion by a dish of milk curds, birch sap, winter fruit and vegetables which ended with a layer at the bottom of chestnuts and Japanese artichoke.

Milk Curds
The restaurant is generally fully booked for lunch and dinner for several weeks ahead but it is possible to walk in for lunch at around 1.30 p.m. on the off chance that a table has been vacated. Alternatively, Oskar’s Bar below the restaurant serves excellent food cooked by Ollie, often including the coddled egg, and it doesn’t take bookings. 

Rumour has it that a second larger venue will be opened next year under Ollie’s supervision, with Ollie remaining in his kitchen in Whitfield Street. Great news for lovers of good food.

Square Meal

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