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Toufas

Dabbous

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I'm pissed off with Dabbous.

No not you Ollie, I want to eat your food, but your front of house are not up to the job.

Let me explain.

I have followed your career since Texture (and before) and have waited patiently for your new opening.

I emailed for details of opening, plus a copy of the menu. No reply....

I telephoned to be informed that we had missed the soft opening, but would be emailed a current menu.

I'm still f-c-in waiting.

Its clear you don't want our business, but sort it out for everyone else.

Or you won't have a f-c-in business. :raz:

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Is this post a joke?

I'm pissed off with Dabbous.

No not you Ollie, I want to eat your food, but your front of house are not up to the job.

Let me explain.

I have followed your career since Texture (and before) and have waited patiently for your new opening.

I emailed for details of opening, plus a copy of the menu. No reply....

I telephoned to be informed that we had missed the soft opening, but would be emailed a current menu.

I'm still f-c-in waiting.

Its clear you don't want our business, but sort it out for everyone else.

Or you won't have a f-c-in business. :raz:

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Its clear you don't want our business, but sort it out for everyone else.

Or you won't have a f-c-in business. :raz:

I think they have sorted it out...

Tried to book for next week and...

Hi Marco,

I'm afraid we're completely full for that day, in-fact for every lunch in February! The phones just haven't stopped ringing, would you like me to put you on our waiting list?

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Its clear you don't want our business, but sort it out for everyone else.

Or you won't have a f-c-in business. :raz:

I think they have sorted it out...

Tried to book for next week and...

Hi Marco,

I'm afraid we're completely full for that day, in-fact for every lunch in February! The phones just haven't stopped ringing, would you like me to put you on our waiting list?

Yea, don't I know it, I tried again today for the third time.

I blame that bloomin Fay Maschler and her ten out of ten :smile:

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Lunch is easier, I am going next week, not because Ayesha gave it 10 out of 10 but because it's there!

n

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Lunch is easier, I am going next week, not because Ayesha gave it 10 out of 10 but because it's there!

n

You beat me to it.

I'm getting fed up with trying. I phoned again yesterday. Same thing, none of the dates I gave them available, including every Saturday in March. "Crazy busy, it never stops".

First lunch was tuesday March 13th, no good to me that.

Still knowing how fickle London diners are it should not be long until they traipse off to pastures new, freeing tables up for the more serious diners.

Looking forward to your review though.

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I think with the modishly fashionable place it does not harm to wait.

Always good to give a restaurant time to bed in, I think. Plenty of other fish in the sea. Let them get into their stride and settle in.

Although Fay Maschler rarely extends the courtesy.

J


Edited by Jon Tseng (log)

More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!

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The juggernaut that is Dabbous goes marching on.

First lunch table available, end of March.

First weekday evening table available 15th May.

First weekend evening table available, first week of June.

I have my table booked now, but don't expect a review from me anytime soon. :sad:

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So eventually we are in. I have tried every combination of dates available and had to settle finally for a Tuesday lunch rather than wait another couple of months for a weekend slot. This simply means a day tripper journey of over three hundred miles instead of a leisurely overnight stay and another restaurant the following day with a chilled out return back home.

To add insult to injury our normal three hour journey turns into four because of an accident which totally blocked off the M1. This was literally a few hundreds of metres in front of us just past the motorway services. Luckily we were fifty metres this side of the turn off so we were able to re-route off the rear of the services to the next motorway junction. I was joyous of the fact we had started earlier than normal.

We arrive late and stressed after a further delay in parking the car because a new company is in charge of parking so I have to re-register which they simply can not do that quickly.

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The restaurant is on the ground floor and is smaller than I thought, perhaps seating thirty or so. The basement bar is larger, perhaps twice as large and equally as industrial.

Metal thieves would have a field day in here, its all metal, more metal, concrete and bare brick with a bit of wood thrown in for good measure. The oversize metal front door would not keep them out they would simply nick that too.

Service put us at rest from the off as I was assured that the tasting menu was still on offer even though we were late arriving. The set menu was however very appealing with quite a few dishes crossing over from the a la carte and tasting menu, this from memory was £24 for four courses, excellent value. The carte has five, six and five choices and seems very reasonably priced although having said that you will need four perhaps even five courses to fill you up.

From reading some of the reviews I had a nagging feeling the portion size was going to be an obsticle for us. Indeed the coddled egg dish (which we shall come to later) I viewed as a bit of a micky take at £7.

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The homemade nutty Rye bread arrived warm in a date stamped brown paper bag, with some whipped salted butter and a handfull of tasty bulbous green olives.

The bread had a fantastic crust with good flavour and exploded in the mouth to meld with the salty butter.

The tasting menu seemed good value at £49 for seven courses but apart from the egg I could see that one of them was a pre dessert so that would no doubt be tiny. Time would tell if we were sated at the end or not.

Bang in season, English asparagus was presented with a deliciously lush homemade virgin rapeseed oil mayonnaise. Sprinkled on the plate were some chopped hazelnuts and meadowsweet. We were advised to eat this with our fingers which was a bit messy but fun.

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Mixed alliums in a chilled pine infusion sounded intriguing. How would it eat, how were the onions cooked, etc.

I thought the dish was a real looker. I had to take multiple photos to make sure that I captured the dish correctly.

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What a simple plate of food and really refreshing on a summers day. Floating in the broth btw is an aioli and basil emulsion. You have to be careful cutting the onions as they are served with a good bite to them.

We are spoilt with eggs, my ducks lay fresh ones daily in spring and summer so the Coddled free range hen,s egg had a lot to live up to. Not at all sure what "woodland mushrooms" were in the egg, they were a tiny dice but did their job well along with the smoked butter. Not for me as ethereal as others may decide but nevertheless a simple fun dish nicely presented. I guess it may end up being a signiture dish (if not already).

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Charred Salmon with elderflower, spring onions and almonds was again summer on a plate, and boy was the sun shining today.

Top tasty piece of well sourced salmon, sweet distinctive elderflower with a spritz of lemon, whats not to like.

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The only meat on the well balanced menu was Barbecued Iberico pork perched atop a mound of savory acorn praline. To the side are turnip tops and somewhere on the plate was homemade apple vinegar, I suspect dressing the turnip tops. I was informed the pork is simply barbecued in the kitchen with no sous vide involved at all.

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I have a lovage plant growing in my garden which should be bursting into life very shortly, the pre dessert of Iced lovage has given me an idea as to how to use some of the leaves. I guess not to everyones taste this really is a distinctive herb but for us it worked and freshened the taste buds up no end.

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A work of art next and possibly my favourite dish. The forest floor on a plate. No not a plate, my mistake, a slate no less to show it off to better effect. Chocolate and virgin hazelnut oil ganache, basil moss, sheeps milk ice cream.. Witness chocolate ganache, chocolate log, chocolate soil, basil moss, dill cream, and the ice cream.

Too often desserts are oversweet, some are sickly sweet and part way through they can become hard work, this was totally the opposite, visually exciting, we could not wait to get tucked in. Perfect balance of crunch, pitch perfect ganache, slightly sour notes from the ice cream and an excellent "basil moss". A star dish imo.

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Now then we skipped coffee as we normally do but were still served the most amazing canneles, sponge cakes baked in beeswax with a cherry on top. Absolutely gorgeous, the cherry on the top was a revelation I can't imagine these being bettered. Fantastic, I wished I had been cheeky and done an Oliver Twist and asked for more.

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Now then I never ever go to a restaurant looking for faults, its just not me, why pay good money to be unhappy? Having said that I did think that Dabbous would perhaps not fully live up to the hype. I did expect to nit pick on portion size and I suspected service may not have been perhaps all that, but I was wrong. Everything seemed destined against an enjoyable experience but we immediately fealt relaxed and fully enjoyed the experience.

Special mention to Graham Burton and his staff for looking after not only us but some of the happiest customers that we have seen in a restaurant in recent times.

Considering that he worked last with Agnar Sverrison at Texture for a number of years Ollie Dabbous has not copied his style but developed his own and that is admirable indeed. There is a clarity about his food, its not muddled with lots of different flavours and indeed as we expected we think so far that this has got to be the restaurant opening of the year and a very exciting one at that. Shame again its so far away and booked so far in advance, still, there will be a next time.

After service Ollie came out of the kitchen to spreak with a fair few of his customers whom he seemed to know quite well. Eventually and mindfull not to keep him we had a very brief chat before we hit the chaotic M1. He certainly is humbled by all of the attention he is getting and he seems to be a really focused hard working guy. We wish him all the very best.

We took this photo.

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Looks intriguing David, very clean and fresh appearance to those dishes.

But did you have to stop off for a pasty on the way home?

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But did you have to stop off for a pasty on the way home?

And, if so, would you expect to be paying VAT on it?


John Hartley

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Don't be silly now, this meal was before the Pasty tax hike. And besides, of course David had one, it's what us 'Northerners' eat all the time.

Been trying to avoid this thread as I have a reservation for next month. Though the wife can't make it now, Nick fancy coming with?

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I'm northern but I only eat pasties when there are no pies left.

You'll have heard of the Wigan kebab? Three pies on a stick, innit.


John Hartley

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What a dump David reminiscent of the old post war british restaurants where a three course meal cost 7.5p.The food though sparse was probably tastier in Dabbous but what ever happened to ambience our american friends would probably have to be seated on one of the bench seats they would need two of those tiny chairs. :laugh:


Sid the Pig

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Looks intriguing David, very clean and fresh appearance to those dishes.

But did you have to stop off for a pasty on the way home?

As it turned out Nick some of the courses were a decent size and from most chefs point of view this would be considered a well balanced meal. It could be argued that you should not feel overfull at the end of a meal, however mostly I like to feel full especially when paying top money for a meal.

To sum up. Overall I was very happy with the quality and quantity of the meal, my wife not so much on quantity as she craved more meat, specifically some chicken.

Yes we did stop at the services on the M1 and were tempted by the Waitrose takeaway meal for a tenner, but resisted.

We did have a moussaka later on in the evening though :smile:

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Another informative report, thanks David.

Yet, that an egg with mushroom bits threatens to become a signature dish is a testament to the bullshit that some contemporary eating has become.

No, really, what's the 'concept' there, can somebody explain to troglodyte me? Please, 'the best scrambled egg you can imagine' and suchlike refrain from applying (I've just had the best crispy haggis in my life and that, for how good it was, won't make the place the Scotland opening of the year, just a lovely inn). And the scrambled egg in the broken shell is such an old presentation idea (e.g. I liked one served as an amuse bouche in an otherwise mediocre Mayfair place).

Anyway, I agree that a moussaka plus the amuse bouches in the pictures sounds like a light and reasonable value eating experience at £49. :smile:

But I was wondering, given that the room looks so spectacularly ugly (again, can anyone explain 'the concept'? Does looking at exposed pipes make one quiver with excitement?) and the tables so tiny and uncomfortable, does somebody also come round with a whip to increase even further the clientele's enjoyment?

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I went to Dabbous yesterday, my birthday, and it was fabulous. The bread in a bag business came imto its own as we only ate a bit, so I took it away with me, saying I could give it to a colleague whose birthday is soon and had wanted to book at Dabbous for that but left it too late. I can vouch for the bread being delicious toasted.

Anyway - yesterday - we all ate from the set lunch menu. I started with the mixed alliums in a chilled pine infusion mentioned by David above - it looks just as beautiful as in his photo, and I was amazed at how perfectly the onions were cooked - neither too crispy nor too soft. It tasted fresh and delicate, with just enough pine flavour to give it a bit of contrast.

I then had barbecued wild ling, iodized sour cream, beetroot & watercress stems . It didn't seem barbecued to me - poached more like, but oh it did taste of the sea, as promised from a reduction of oysters and other things the names of which I have forgotten. Truly a fabulous dish.

Then the three of us shared homemade black pudding with mango chutney and a fried organic hen egg. This was so rich one portion was just enough for us - this had far richer flavours than the starters and fish dishes, and it was gorgeous to taste, though if I were being very picky every component had the same texture, and something a little crispy would have been welcome.

We then all had the iced lovage. One liked it, but couldn't eat more than a mouthful as it dried her mouth too much; I managed about 1/3 then the incredibly intense lovage got too much, and one loved it and ate it all. The texture, and balance of sweetness were superb; it just needed something calm and creamy to balance the intensity of the taste for me.

The tiny cannelés served with the tea were gorgeous. And the head waiter, who overheard my saying my colleague had been disappointed not to be able to get a table, gave me a few sans cherry, to give to her, which made me (and her) love it all the more.

I had wndered if it would be very echoey, with all the hard surfaces, but it wasn't and once you're inside, the industrial setting is actually surprisingly relaxing. The service was charming throughout. I am booked for dinner in June, and am really looking forward to it. I wonder if the tasting menu will have the same things on it - it does look as though the menu doesn't change very much, comparing what David had in March with what I had in May.

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Very good interview with Ollie Dabbous by Jay Rayner.

It is however slightly inaccurate. No dinner tables available until NEXT YEAR!

Unreal ? It certainly is.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/may/18/ollie-dabbous-most-wanted-chef-jay-rayner?CMP=twt_gu

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5 star review from AA in the Times today. So there really will be no tables available for ever now. I'll wait till the fuss has died down (I hope it dies down).

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