Monday, April 22, 2024

Review: The brilliance of Le Bab

Anthony Brown reviews Le Bab in Kingly Court, W1

 

The boys behind Le Bab are not your typical restaurateurs: Stephen Tozer and Edward Brunet became friends at Oxford and after respectively working in private equity and training at Le Gavroche, decided to team up to take kebabs to places they’d never been before. The result was Le Bab – a Soho restaurant that opened this month.

 

Le Bab, Top Floor, Kingly Court, Carnaby Street, London, W1B 5PW
Stephen Tozer and Edward Brunet
Le Bab, Top Floor, Kingly Court, Carnaby Street, London, W1B 5PW
A selection of the kebabs on offer at Le Bab

 

Providing a mid-market alternative to the utterly saturated gourmet burger sector and the trendy Venetian tapas offerings of such places as Polpo, Le Bab is a restaurant that reinterprets this Middle Eastern dish. Served with light house-made flatbreads rather than the more traditional and stodgy naans or pitas, ‘The Babs’ – as they have been christened – are cooked on a wood and charcoal fired robata, priced between £11 and £13 and perfect for sharing. They feature such ingredients as chicken crackling, beetroot puree and pork aioli and are colourful and well presented. The best of them, the roe deer adana is not to be missed and it comes with a blackberry and chilli jam that gives it an especially unique kick.

 

A limited menu is offered currently as part of Le Bab’s soft opening but of the starters, the meatlafel with tzatziki (£5.50) was the most appealing. Lokma doughnuts with spiced chicken liver parfait (£5) looked to be a clever conception but were perhaps a little doughy. The restaurant’s signature dish – sadly not sampled as we were a party of two – however is a pig’s head (£36) designed for a hearty group. Served with crackling, kohlrabi, heritage carrots, onion and a molasses sauce, this dish definitely is the encouragement I need to return. It’ll certainly turn off the Corbyn-ites of this world given it is in-your-face presentation but as a conversation piece, what could be more perfect?

 

Le Bab, Top Floor, Kingly Court, Carnaby Street, London, W1B 5PW
Meatlafel with tzatziki
Le Bab, Top Floor, Kingly Court, Carnaby Street, London, W1B 5PW
Lokma doughnuts with spiced chicken liver parfait
Le Bab, Top Floor, Kingly Court, Carnaby Street, London, W1B 5PW
Le Bab’s signature pig’s head with crackling, kohlrabi, heritage carrots, onion and a molasses sauce

 

A side of double-cooked fondue chips (£4.50) was a dish that needs improvement given that the stout and Stilton sauce that accompanied it could only be described as bland but the spiced crème brûlée (£4.50) we concluded with was beyond excellent. Le Bab is a restaurant that’s in its infancy but it will go far. On our visit it still didn’t have a sign, but go there before the foodies find it. You will not be disappointed.

 

Le Bab, Top Floor, Kingly Court, Carnaby Street, London, W1B 5PW.

 

 

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    7 COMMENTS

    1. The doughnut sounds exciting and certainly different. Probably pate de fois gras would work better than the parfait. I think the article is well written by Antony Brown.

    2. Oxford bell bottoms blues, no need to implement the ISO 22000 for food safety and handling international standard, you know it all , when you graduate from Oxford, even if you only read art and music, you will probably be appointed the Governor of a HMP Prison.

    3. David Cameron was accused of violating a pig, perhaps a rumour only, no concrete evidence, but in his defence, he had the decency not to eat it. There is no shortage of pigs in our society, and the law protects them too.

    4. In my haste to post a comment the other day I have now realised that I misspelt “Fois Gras” instead of “Foie Gras”. I apologise to all epicureans, including AWT who kindly corrected me.

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