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Le Bab

Restaurants, Lebanese Soho
4 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
(21user reviews)
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Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

A Kingly Court restaurant specialising in high-end kebabs.

It had to happen, didn’t it? We’ve had gourmet burgers, gourmet hot dogs and gourmet fried chicken. So when we heard about this purveyor of posh kebabs, it was less a case of us asking ‘What?’ and more ‘What took them so long?’

The backstory is pure junk food-to-jewels. Two chaps meet at uni. Bond over ‘a mutual fascination with the ancient gastronomy of kebabs’ (their words – seriously). Decide one day to ‘go gourmet’. Do the sensible thing and get experience via ‘stages’ (chef internships) at Michelin-starred restaurants and even a stint at Le Gavroche (where they’ll later hire their chefs from). Launch street food operation. And finally, move to a small, permanent Soho spot. Cue our visit. It was Saturday night, so we had to go away for 45 minutes until a table came up. But hey, it was worth the wait.

The kebabs are beautiful. They have an almost Scandinavian look, being served ‘open sandwich’-style, the contents painstakingly arranged over a thin, house-made flatbread. It almost seems a pity to roll them up. Fillings change with the seasons, with preserved, charred and fermented ingredients adding to the Nordic vibe. We loved ‘roe deer adana’, with its peppery chunks of robata-grilled meat, fragrant juniper berries, blackberry and chilli jam, and even a sour cavolo nero ‘kimchi’. The other ’bab we tried, a ‘free range pork shawarma’ with crunchy crackling and pork aioli, was nice enough but a touch oily; it needed more ‘winter salad’ (beetroot, radish, cabbage).

In fact, the best thing about Le Bab isn’t the posh 'babs. Sure, they’re good, but if you want your proverbial socks knocked off, hit all the small plates. Highlights for us included the mind-blowingly delicious ‘meatlafel’ (a crunchy-edged patty of chickpea and red meat served over lightly garlicky tzatziki), the ‘fondue fries’ (hand-cut, skin-on chips with a subtle stout-and-stilton dip) and the outstanding endive and pomegranate salad (a glorious mix of sharp, crunchy, sweet and salty).

Staff are clued-up and genial, while the small room – its plain centre bordered by pretty blue-and-white tiles – makes you feel like you’re eating inside a jewellery box. So until someone starts up an artisanal pork pie restaurant, Le Bab will do nicely.

Details

Address: 2nd Floor
Kingly Court
London
W1B 5PW
Transport: Tube: Piccadilly Circus
Contact:
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Users say (21)

5 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:12
  • 4 star:7
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|21
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1 of 1 found helpful

Le Bab is literally one of my favourite restaurants to frequent. One of the very few places with a unique concept which works brilliantly, for such a reasonable price. Crazy how good a kebab can be, when put together by a kitchen full of 2-michelin star chefs!!

The Dark & Stormy and Smokey Sour cocktails are incredible, and the wine list befits any palate. Particular shout-outs to the pork and paneer kebabs, fondue fries and spiced cauliflower pastilla starter!
1 of 1 found helpful
Tastemaker

I wish it wasn't so difficult to get a table at this newcomer to Kingly Court. I wouldn't mind having the posh chicken kebab  every time I'm in the neighborhood. The vegetarian paneer kebab and pork shawarma were highly enjoyed in our group and the meatlafel (meat falafel) which is one of the few starters on the menu is definitely a must try. Did not enjoy their fondue fries at all, but nothing is perfect, right?

1 of 1 found helpful
Staff Writer

Fab new laid-back dining spot on the top floor of Kingly Court. The pork shawarma was delicious - served open, with crackling and salad, you then roll it up to eat. Also - you MUST order the fondue fries, these are worth writing home about - light and crispy and with the most delicious, runny, possibly boozy dipping, cheese sauce. 

Tastemaker

This was super busy little place on a Thursday night with two girlfriends! We had Sauvignon bland (three bottles - don’t judge!) and chicken shish with sides which cake to around £160. It was really nice and friendly place. Would recommend in that area!

tastemaker

As a big fan of the 3am kebab I had strong expectations for this place. We came for bottomless brunch, with high expectations but ready to be dissapointed.

First off, they fulfilled my basic rules for an excellent boozy brunch: the bottles of prosecco were put on our table so we didn't have to hopelessly look for constant top-ups. Next, the food itself. To start we both went for bhajis which were filled with meat and onions and absolutely out of this world. My main was the pork while my partner went for falafel - both of which were excellent (my partner we himself as a falafel conniseur so that is high praise indeed). For desert we had sticky toffee pudding served with cream on the side, delicious.

The service was excellent. Despite only having one person on service he was super friendly and knowledgeable and we felt extremely well taken care of.

All in all a wonderful experience - I left drunk and full and happy new which is the greatest possible way to leave anywhere.

Tastemaker

I love this place. Literally, love it and if I could, I'd draw big, glittery pink, teenage girl hearts all over these words. I love the fact that it’s small and pretty and full of beautifully tiled floors & walls like the offspring of a torrid Middle-Eastern-meets-Lisbon love affair. I love that it’s on the top floor of Kingly Court and has windows that just beg to be flung open on a sunny evening so that you can enjoy a gentle breeze as passers-by weep with (righteous) envy. I love that the staff are totally on the ball, that they’re sincerely but not sycophantically friendly, that they talk about the food with honest appreciation and that some of them wear shirts that match the tiles. I love that the length of the menu doesn’t require me to book in thirty minutes before I actually want to eat in order to read it and I love that the only thing better than the way the food looks is the way it tastes with every single thing made in house.


There are three starters you’re definitely gonna want to get involved with; firstly, the le bab bhajis which are made with braised lamb shoulder, beef shin & onion, come served with a smoky chilly mayonnaise and are absolutely gorgeous. Crispy, lightly spiced and full of juicy meat packed with flavour, they’re the kind of thing that makes you sad to eat because like the start of year feast at Hogwarts, you just want the plate to magically keep refilling itself but we all know you’re a muggle and that’s not your destiny. Secondly, the hummus. London is a city in love with the humble chickpea this version, topped with crunchy, sticky nuts and accompanied by softly deflated flatbreads is a cracker. Earthier in flavour rather than sharp from the addition of lemon, it comes in the sort of miniature cast iron skillet that you rather fancy would make everything taste better because it’s just so damn pretty. Thirdly, that most on trend of cruciferous veggies – the cauliflower. Spiced pastillas come looking not too dissimilar to long, crispy cylinders of baklava but are full of lovely crumbly texture and snuggle up perfectly with charred pineapple yoghurt.


The kebabs themselves are seasonal and undeniably fabulous. Lamb comes deliciously charred and adorned with gorgeously vibrant dollops of emerald chermoullah mayo while contender-for-the-title-of-best-cheese-ever paneer is BBQ’d and sits fatly on top of beetroot puree with curry mayo, pickled celery and a Miss. World worthy crown of crispy onions. I’m equally admiring and suspicious of anyone who could come here, see fondue fries on the menu and order the heirloom tomato salad. Those ripe round beauties have their place for sure but it’s not here, usurping the rightful place at my table of something oozy, thick, cheesy & delicious. I feel sure that more things would be made better in the world with the addition of a small pan full of melted cheese and these double cooked chips are golden, crispy and strong enough to withstand the dreamy dairy overload that is this dish.


Kingly Court is the sort of place in which you can always find something you want to eat. Le Bab is the sort of place where you’ll want to eat everything available. My advice would be to get started on that right away.




Tastemakertastemaker

Loved this place and the paneer kebab is quite simply divine.! We went at a weird time so not a lot of atmosphere but it's started to fill up when we left! Great little place with lovely options of interesting starters and sides. Good little beer menu too. All in all- 8/10 and maybe on a day with more buzz it would be great!

Tastemakertastemaker

Literally some of the best kebabs I've ever had! There's vege, fish and meat options and the starters are just as flavoursome! We tried a bit of everything and weren't disappointed by a single dish.  There's a reason why everyone is giving this place 5 stars.


There's also a variety of organic wines (hello headache free zone!)


To top off, end with the sticky date pudding! Save some space for this as it does NOT disappoint!

Tastemaker

Fantastic kebabs and side dishes. Seriously, get a rez if you can. This place is tiny and buzzy.

I got the cauliflower pastilla to start and it was delicious! A bit of spice and a hearty cauli mash in a crunchy wrap had myself and even my carnivorous husband fighting for the two rolls!

I got the paneer and beetroot kebab and my husband got the lamb. OMG so good. Even the somewhat crispy wrap they are on is perfect as a wrapping base. The curry mayo that accompanies both dishes complements them perfectly.

To top it off, the staff gave us on the house a hefty, DELICIOUS sticky toffee pud for my birthday. With a container of cream. And the best part is it was quietly given to me, no drama. No candle, thank god.

I would definitely return here.


I first went to Le Bab a few months ago, but have been back many times since both for quick work lunches (if I can get a table!) and slightly more leisurely dinners. The kebabs themselves are delicious and clearly a lot of thought has gone into each recipe. The simple presentation belies the amount of work that has clearly gone into each component and I have always enjoyed whatever combination of mains and snacks I have ordered. On top of that, the restaurant has got the drinks menu spot on. A good selection of cocktails and an even better list of extremely good value wines.


Highly recommended for whatever occasion.


Great food and cool atmosphere. Most of all, a really good modern twist on the traditional kebab. Thoroughly recommend

Tastemaker

The paneer tikka wrap is fantastic for vegetarians, and there are several other options for vegetarians too despite this being labelled a kebab restaurant. The only downside is that the wait is very long, even at off-peak times and beware that they will not offer takeaway if they are very busy. 

tastemaker

Since we were rather early for the dinner crowd (around 6:30PM), my friend and I were lucky to get a table without a reservation. The hostess did let us know that she would need the table back by 7:30PM, which was perfect since we had to be somewhere at 8PM anyway.


Our waiter suggested getting a starter and a side to share as well as a main dish each in order to feel satisfied with our experience. Taking his advice, we ordered the Hummus with naan as our starter. This came pretty quickly after we ordered and it was lovely! It tasted way better than the hummus I make at home (how do restaurants do it?!) because there seemed to be more spices and flavour. I also liked the addition of the pickles on top and the drizzle of olive oil to add colour and to make it more aesthetically pleasing. The naan was top notch too! It was rolled out thinly so it wasn’t heavy or dense and was perfect to scoop up the hummus with.


As for my main dish, I went for the Lamb Kofte with fried eggplant. Whenever I’m at a restaurant with cuisine that specialises in grilled meats, I tend to go for lamb because it’s a type of meat I wouldn’t normally cook for myself at home. It also tastes a lot nicer grilled on a hot fire than anything I could make! This was placed on top of a huge naan and drizzled with garlic sauce, parsley and grilled peppers. The overall blend of flavours mixed well together and gave off a very mediterranean vibe. The serving sizes for the mains were generous with loads of meat! I thoroughly enjoyed this and actually found it a little hard to get through the entire naan here.


For our choice of side, we went for the Triple Cooked Fries. Our waiter did recommend us to get them with fondue cheese, but we chose not to because we thought that would be too rich. They were really good on their own too with a good mix of extra crispy fries and soggy fries.


Overall, a great experience! The service was good, the restaurant was quite cute – a pretty small and cosy place with a good buzz and located centrally – and the food was delicious!


Fantastic flavours and great fresh ingredients in our Le Babs! Also must try the chips with fondue they were amazing. Nice cocktails too.


Managed to nab the last table on Friday night for a group of 8 of us. A beer on their balcony at the top of Kingly Court was not the worst way to begin the evening. 


A really lively atmosphere in the restaurant; busy, but not crowded. The large open windows along the front make the summer experience that bit more special and compliment the Mediterranean/Middle Eastern cuisine.


We ordered a couple of each of the starters to share; really delicious. Special mention must surely go to the Scotch Kofte (a scotch egg that leaves all others in the dust), closely followed by the Spiced Cauliflower Pastilla.


I had the Hardwick Lamb Adana Kebab which arrived at the table open and unwrapped. This gave me a chance to admire the visually impressive dish and elevated the meal to that gourmet/fine dining feel. Eating it was no less enjoyable. The grilled lamb was full of flavour. There was no wayward or redundant ingredient; the rainbow radishes provided texture, the chutney some sweetness, and the yoghurt tied it all together and added some sharpness to keep the richness in check.


Service was impeccable throughout and the bill ended up being a lot less than we expected. Couldn't recommend it more highly. Definitely one to watch.




What a fantastic restaurant on the top floor of Kingly Court!! The food is so well thought out and absolutely delicious - I was lucky enough to have the Monkfish Tail, which is to die for. The Lokma doughnuts to start are also a must. Alongside the amazing food we sipped on Pomegranate Mojitos and Smokey Sours - all the cocktails looked great and tasted even better. 


The service throughout the night was faultless and nothing was ever too much trouble for the staff. They were very attentive and friendly. The restaurant has a very buzzy atmosphere about it (and great music!). 


Really can't wait to go back. You MUST go - you won't be disappointed. 

tastemaker

Stephen Tozer and Ed Brunet have successfully turned everyone’s favourite kebab stop into a fun gourmet dining experience. The kebabs incorporate seasonal ingredients and the wood-fired flavours of the Middle East and South East Asia. The food is cooked on a wood and charcoal-fired robot.


I love Kingly Court. It has so many good food spots so I love trying the restaurants here! Le Bab is quite small and cramped similar to the usual squeeze in a kebab shop, but it is a much nicer experience at Le Bab. The restaurant has an open kitchen in the corner allowing you to see the chefs hard at work. The staff are friendly and the service was great overall, although we did feel slightly rushed at the end to pay the bill and leave.


Paneer Bab – BBQ paneer, beetroot puree, crispy onion, charred beetroot stem, curry mayo served open on thin flatbread. Lots of complimentary flavours and a generous portion of perfectly barbequed paneer cheese. I really enjoyed the crunch from the crispy onions. Paneer cheese can be a bit dry and chewy so this dish could have been better with a dash more mayo or beetroot puree.


Wild garlic maftoul risotto – Wild garlic & chipotle beurre noisette, goats cheese. A flavoursome, spring risotto with a strong garlic kick. If you love garlic, this is definitely one to try! I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this because I am not usually a risotto fan.


Fondue Fries – Delicious skin-on crispy fries with a cheesy gravy-like dip. I would definitely recommend these as a side.


Overall I really enjoyed the food and can't wait to go back! 


Tastemaker

Le Bab is tucked away on the top floor of the buzzing, conveniently located Kingly Court. The restaurant’s idea is a good one - create kebabs that people don’t need to be drunk to eat. They do deliver on this front - my barbecued paneer kebab had lots of flavour, especially with the crispy fired onions on top. The kebabs were served on baking paper though which I’ve never been a fan of. I find that it’s hard not to start cutting up the paper as you cut into your food. The cheesy fries for a side were extremely oily and overcooked. The menu is very short and sweet and sometimes it’s nice to have only a few very freshly prepared items to choose from. The service was friendly and the decor was nice, with lots of beautiful tiles on the walls. It’s handy that Le Bab takes reservations, but we did feel quite rushed when the bill was brought to us an hour and a half after sitting down for dinner without asking for it.

Tastemaker

It was about time that somebody took the greasy, questionable yet delicious meat kebab which we chuck down out throats after one too many Jagerbombs and gave it some gourmet loving. And Le Bab, in the ever delightful Kingly Court, is doing just that and some.

The meat (I opted for the classic pork shawarma) is insane; packed full of flavour, caramelised and juicy. Add to this crispy onions, tangy aioli, and burnt cabbage pickle and this open wrap just mouth wateringly insane. Th fondue chips are almost as good as as the main; the sauce which we discovered is made out of stout and Stilton, is like liquid gold. They should serve it in pints- they would make a killing!

We started the meal with a gin basil smash, a refreshing cocktail that was just the right balance between sweet and savoury; the basil packed a powerful punch. Reasonable prices, cool, chic decor and friendly staff- Kingly Court has another jewel to add to its crown, Le Bab is here to stay.


I went to Le Bab in March whilst visiting London after a recommendation from a friend. First off: the kebabs were sublime. We had the Roe Deer, pork and paneer. They taste delicious, look beautiful and it's obvious how much love and care goes into each and every one. Next up: the wine list was limited but well thought out, we went for the Meerlust Rubicon - which I'd recommend, especially if you're having a gamey meat. Last but not least: get the Meatlaffel and Fondue Fries - both were delicious. 


My only criticism was that the service was a little slow - but these things are to be expected from a new restaurant. 


It is to be expected that the latest on-trend Soho places will have a queue - that comes with the territory. Le bab manage this well by taking your details and allowing you to go and have a drink elsewhere while you wait - very much appreciated on a cold February evening. Once we got in and seated service was quick and friendly. We started with some lokma, which are lovely little doughnuts filled with rich and meaty pâté. All was looking good, but from this point on things dropped off a little. There was a long wait for our main course to turn up, and when my roe deer adana turned up I was left feeling a little disappointed. From what promised so much on the menu, gamey meat, fruity jam, sharp and spicy kimchi, it all came together to be a little underwhelming. While Le Bab is elevating the format to new heights, £13 is quite a lot to pay for what remains a kebab that doesn't deliver on flavour. Following this, the service continued to slide and we found ourselves craning our necks from our window stools and going to some lengths to attract any attention and pay our bill. Le Bab is a nice little restaurant, they're doing something different and the staff are great when on form - but lokma alone are probably not enough to have me rushing back.

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