Review of 'Le Bab'

Back in the summer we visited the Carnaby Street Eat Food Festival where we were bowled away by the kebabs of “Le Bab” but I have heard for some time how excellent the food was. So did the food live up to the hype? Well, yes, it did indeed!

On the top (floor of Kingly Court you would be forgiven for missing it given that even finding Kingly Court for the first time is tricky. The modern industrial-style restaurant is tiny seating perhaps only 20 people or so with simple tables, a long padded seating bench along one end with marble topped tables and white metal chairs. The kitchen opens into the area alongside a tiny bar area near the front door (there is a tiny, unheated (!), toilet through a sliding door at the far end of the room).

Dining Area

Visiting early on a Sunday evening we were surprised there were a few tables already filled though as we ate it did get busier. It is a relaxed atmosphere with the relaxed staff attentive but not cloying. The menu is on two sides of an A4 and is nicely compact divided into “Mezze & To Begin”, “Mains” and “Sides & Sharers”. Simple. The prices are all reasonable though certainly not standard kebab shop prices: These are kebabs for gourmets.

Being a non-drinker I was happy to see a “Cucumber & Mint Cooler” (£4) drink which was really refreshing with a good amount of elderflower to add flavour and sweetness to otherwise mild cucumber and mint.

Cucumber & Mint Cooler

To start with we had the “Le Bab Hummus” (£5.50) which regularly changes but the current recipe was “Cashew and cauliflower hummus with pomegranate and curry oil served with house-made flatbreads.” This was delightfully nutty and delicious with a slight bitterness from the raw cauliflower. The flat bread was quite substantial and provided in good quantity to easily finish off the hummus.

Le Bab Hummus

For my main I had the “15-Hour Free Range Pork Shawarma Kebab” (£12.50) (“Free range Dingley Dell Pork from Suffolk; Spiced celeriac, smoked date puree, pickled endive, crackling, nutmeg mayo”) which was absolutely delicious. Served face-up on a wonderful flatbread there was so much filling wrapping it up and eating it was a bit of a challenge (for those less adventurous cutlery is provided). Crispy and tasty, smoky, pork was nicely met by the slightly nutty (nutmeg!) mayo. Wonderful.

Pork Shawarma Kebab

For a side we tried the “Double Cooked Fries” with the “Fondue” option (£5.50) making sure to ask for no alcohol (normally fondue is laced with it) which was delicious with a cheese that was so thick it was almost solid by the time we finished the fries. The fries themselves were crispy, skin on, fluffy on the inside and crunchy on the outside - In other words, as they should be.

Fries

My companion had the “Corn Fed Chicken Shish” (£12.50) (“Free range chicken from Norfolk; Brassica yoghurt, charred broccoli, tahini dressing, chilli sauce”). I was told it was ok but she could taste very little of the chicken so a bit of a disappointment. The huge pieces of broccoli made this another eating challenge.

Corn Fed Chicken Shish

Though they are not known for desserts there was one we had noticed scribbled in marker on a stainless steel surface near the kitchen “Sticky Toffee Pudding - £6.50”. The server assured us it was very good and sure enough, it was excellent. The pudding was crispy all around the edges but despite being a sweet pudding it was not sickly so. The cream on the side mixed wonderfully with the wonderful toffee sauce. This did not last long on the table but certainly something we had to share after our large mains…

Smoked Date Toffee Pudding

A service charge of 12.5% was added to our bill and at £65 for the two of us for three courses including drinks it was quite a good value for the area. The quality of the food throughout was amazing and the flavours clean and pure. This is not fancy cooking but it is refined in flavour and execution.

Rating:

Review Date: 2019-02-17


Cuisine: Lebanese

Address: Top Floor, Kingly Court Carnaby Street, Soho London, W1B 5PW ENGLAND

Public Transport: TUBE Oxford Circus

Location: London (England) - Soho

Map:

 

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Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7439 9222

URL: https://lebab.eatlebab.com/