Dabbous - CLOSED

Restaurants, Contemporary European Fitzrovia
5 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(16user reviews)

From a famed Fitzrovia kitchen majoring in plant foods, dazzling innovation with a light, contemporary culinary tone - and there's a great bar in the basement.

Please note, Dabbous is now closed.

The hype surrounding Dabbous’ 2012 opening has not entirely diminished and securing a booking can be tricky, so it’s a pleasure to arrive and find a relaxed, friendly restaurant. Many of the staff are disconcertingly young (not in a good way), which makes any pomposity on their part seem ridiculous. Our hostess left us in no doubt that the tasting menu was what we should have come for, but at an agreeable £59 per person for seven dishes it is among the best value in London.

The international wine list is an enticing read, and having several varieties offered by glass and carafe underscores the amenable attitude. Earthy own-made sourdough served in a paper bag gets things off to a jolly start. The kitchen majors in plant foods, setting a light, contemporary culinary tone concisely expressed in dishes such as mixed alliums with chilled pine infusion, and an ear of sweetcorn with butter and sweet-savoury seasoning.

More traditional pea bavarois, however, was the better dish, exuberantly dressed with clean-flavoured titbits. Meats are skilfully cooked too, particularly barbecued ibérico pork with almond praline – one for fans of peanut butter. Astutely balanced iced lovage (a herbal granita) made a perfect refresher and ultimately was a more satisfying sweet than the runny custard cream pie, but that’s to quibble.

There’s a great bar in the basement. No wonder this place is popular.



Venue name: Dabbous - CLOSED
Address: 39 Whitfield Street
Opening hours: Lunch served noon-2.15pm, dinner served 6.30-9pm Tue-Sun
Transport: Tube: Goodge Street
Price: Set lunch £28 2 courses. Set meal £59 tasting menu
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Average User Rating

3.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:4
  • 4 star:5
  • 3 star:4
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:1
1 person listening

Extremely memorable particularly as we don't like onion but there was a dish dedicated to onion which was actually delicious. Everything is well thought out and presented very well. You do need to book in advance though.


The food was excellent. A special mention goes to their home baked bread - crunchy and chewy, with poppy seeds sprinkled through, served with spreadable home churned butter. The bread comes in a highly instagrammable brown bag, stamped with the date.

We went for the full tasting menu, priced at £79 per person (they also have a shorter set menu). Every single item was a stand out with the exception of the palate cleanser / pre-desert: I’m all for contrasting textures, but neither I nor my companion were kin on blood orange sorbet mixed with extra virgin olive oil (chilled and oily? no, thank you). My favourite dish was black rice served with smoked eel and soft boiled egg. The eel was delicious. It was actually a replacement dish, taken off the smaller (less expensive) set menu to replace the pigeon, as I don't eat meat. I wish I could eat that eel every day.

But the bill (2 tasting menus, a bottle of NZ Sauvignon Blanc and 2 apperitives at the Oskar Bar downstairs) ran up to £250. Sure, the food was top grade quality, but ultimately I felt it not worth it. I suppose it feels that the place is past its prime (gone are the 3 months waiting lists). The industrial design, as cool as it looks, works best against the backdrop of filled up tables and the chatter rising above. Without them it feels a bit too barren and echoey. In comparison, I’ve eaten recently at Nobu, where it's as busy as ever. Our bill for two hit £300 (the food and the service were both impeccable), yet it did not feel as outrageous. So I guess it makes sense Dabbous closes permanently sometime this year. But I am looking forward to whatever Ollie Dabbous comes up next.

Staff Writer

Having been a couple of times I have not been disappointed. Having done the taster menu and set both were wonderful. The wine pairing with the taster menu was excellent. Definitely a must for foodies as another reviewer says. An true experience. 


Oliver Dabbous is one of the outstanding names in a very competitive restaurant landscape. This used to be one of the hardest tables to get in London when they first opened, but is now much easier to get a table. Still, a reservation is highly recommended for this stellar dining establishment. They also have a nice bar below with live music and they serve some really good cocktails. Food-wise, they do a tasting menu only and is affordable for London michelin star standard. Definitely a must do for London foodies or tourists. The bread deserves a special mention because it is a constant on the menu and is extremely delicious. 


I finally went to Dabbous after all the hype.  We had the full menu along with the cheese selection and it was magnificent.  Whilst some courses had me questioning the chef's choices (pear and artichoke consume for example) some of them were melt in your mouth delicious.  We accompanied almost every course with a wine, and even had the best desert moscato to finish. We took our time and had a 3 hour meal and I would highly suggest you leave time to enjoy the meal as well. One of the better michelin experiences I've had as the service was impeccable.  Will definitely be going back.


I went to Dabbous when it first opened back in 2013 and had an amazing experience. Mainly because the great Nick Cave was sitting at the table next to me and actually sang happy birthday to his son! I mean really, how much better can a restaurant experience get?! But all jokes aside, the food was actually so impressive, I still have no words for it. It was not only delicious, but it was actually inventive and innovative too. I remember the service being very good and loved the restaurant's industrial yet intimate decor. The wine list was very strong too. However, I have been trying to go back ever since and have been all but successful. Whenever I have tried to book a table here since, I unfortunately did not receive any of that amazing client service I was referring to earlier, which makes me wonder whether the restaurant is still at the same level as 2 years ago. I would love to go back and find out! 

Only been to the bar downstairs and had bar food but always had fun. The food was delicious but it's very easy to spend a lot of money here. A good place if you want to sit down with a drink and not worried about the cost.

Staff WriterStaff Comp

I’ve not yet had a chance to eat in the restaurant, but have drank here numerous times and had food delivered to the bar before. The downstairs bar is a great space with a very New York feel of exposed brick walls and industrial décor. The service is always great and the staff is stylish and friendly. The only downside can that it is sometimes very busy or it’s closed for a private function, but I can’t really fault that as it would be a great place to rent out. The food I’ve had there is incredible and I would definitely book in here for my next fancy meal.

Dabbous may have a michelin star reputation and a 3 month waiting list, but beware and air on the side of caution when looking for that special dining experience. The food was hugely disappointing and the service non existant. As a regular diner in London, the price point was set extremely high for the quality of experience. London is spoilt with many excellent restaurants such as Fera, the Landau, the Angler and Pont de la Tour, to name but a few, all of whom serve consistently excellent food and service at relatively reasonable prices. Upon addressing these concerns with the maitre de upon conclusion of the 4 course set menu, we were made to feel as though we were the ones in the wrong. The non existant pouring of wine was explained as being a business decision to be non intrusive and pressurising (what happened to asking?) whereas convexly the rushed service between courses could not be explained. He just looked perplexed when we mentioned the average food...and even more so that the couple next to us agreed. No concessions were offered for the frankly non existant service and inexcusably poor food. We shall certainly not be returning or recommending Dabbous...think twice and don't expose yourself to walking away feeling ripped off.

I had heard a lot about Dabbous and many people - particularly the more conservative-chic ones - told me how great their experience was. I have just come from a rather disappointing tasting menu and can't share the excitement about this place. In short: the flavors were not well-balanced, the dishes were not breathtakingly innovative (as in places like Pollen Street) and the service was less than mediocre. 

I was positively surprised by the price when I came in - just over 60 Pounds for a tasting menu in a starred restaurant was not too bad. Given the experience I had, however, I think even the 60 Pounds are not fully justified. 

- While the first starter - raw scallops with eucalyptus - was an interesting taster of flavors - I think it is very bold (and bad-bold that is) to put a slice of tomato on a piece of roasted bread and make this a course in a tasting menu.

- I personally like the strong flavor of duck, but serving it in a broth with - admittedly interesting - home-made pasta without providing adequate (i.e. a fork) makes the whole experience less enjoyable. The cutlery-odysee continued over the next couple of courses. 

- Part of the reason for some of the hiccups I think is the incredibly young (and potentially inexperienced?) team. At times, the service was attentive, but at others the 4 waiters were standing in a corner chatting. There was never even the slightest attend of helping us with the water as well. 

- The one highlight in the menu were the two mains: a soft and flavorsome octopus with fennel was great and the veal was going down well with the cheese-broth (but again: dont you think I should have a knife to cut the veal?). 

- The last bit of negative air was produced by the fact that we were basically speaking thrown out. I dont think that it is unusual that people have issues eating 8 courses in 2 hours. Dabbous should consider changing the seating times for sure. 

- I unfortunately also dont have a lot of good things to say about the cocktails from downstairs: a lot of alcohol taste, the flavors again very imbalanced (can it ever be good when a cocktail tastes of hubba-bubba?). 

- Dont get me started on the atmosphere - dark and gloomy, too loud music - not helpful with the food, particularly when one is barely able to navigate within the toilets...

I came with high expectations and they were not at the least fulfilled. The food is obviously decent, but in comparison to other London locations which are supposedly of the same standard, Dabbous is not worth the visit. 

A rather disappointing lunch here, it could never live up to the hype. The fit out is hideous - already dated, faux industrial which is completely over the top. If Mr Dabbous is going to state in the press that he personally checks that all of the toilet rolls in the bathrooms are folded over correctly then he might also like to get a decent uniform for the staff. They looked shabby & cheap. Like bad purchases on a shoestring from Next. Incidentally the loo rolls were torn and scrappy. Also the front of house staff should not be doing online shopping which is visible to everyone in the restaurant. The food is small, that's to be expected. The selection of starters when we visited were mainly vegetarian. The egg was delicious. The beef was completely overpowered by a buttery horseradish sauce. The pork with acorn praline was the most memorable main course. The fish with sea vegetables was so so. I wanted to be more excited by this place, the food was just good. Pollen Street Social is a far more sophisticated restaurant, on all levels.

What a load of crap. This is the most over priced, up it's own date restaurant in town. Cold cabbage and minute portions don't make for a decent meal in London these days. At £115 per head the prices are scandalous and makes me long for a decent and satisfying meal at Hawksmoor any day of the week. Trite, pretentious and finished. Avoid at all costs. Shite in the extreme.

Visited for lunch and had the 4 course for £26. I didn't like the dessert but they allowed me to change it with no supplement which was good. Food was delicious and interesting-especially the pork belly with turnip tops, the mackerel and warm apple cake.Excellent value and portions were just right. Will return as soon as I can get another reservation!

Brilliant service with good explanations of each dish. We thought it well worth paying the extra £9 each for the cheese course. If you can't eat anything on the tasting menu it's possible to do an exchange for something on the a la carte without extra charge. No feeling of being rushed or pressured. Not a large restaurant, so tables fairly close together and consequently a bit of background noise.

Visited dabbous a while back. Good looking place and great service but the chef takes the mickey with the portions. The food is so pretty and beautifully presented but this does not make up for the lack of substance. A meal at Helen darroze or Alan ducasse costs less than here. Won't be going back unless someone else is paying.

I've just had lunch at this restaurant and felt I had to give prospective diners a real idea of what this restaurant is all about. I'm giving them 3 stars purely for the impeccable and attentive service however there are some real issues... The food tasted lovely but was the smallest of small portions I've ever seen - it was boardering on the far side of a rip-off and piss take. The prices were on a par with the usual expensive restaurants and the portions were as small as a follow thru fart - think turtles head! The cocktail bar looked really nice and the service was impeccable but this is not my idea of how to feed people - no matter how may dishes you order, they will never be fulfiling. This is a propper throwback to the excesses of city slicker 1980's nouvelle cuisine i.e. naff all food on your plate that looks pretty and costs a fortune - NEVER again!