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Congratulations to Dabbous, which has won the BMW Square Meal Best New Restaurant award for spring.
The first solo venture of former Texture and Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons chef Ollie Dabbous (pictured, right, with his team), the Fitzrovia restaurant has been feted by critics since it opened in January. Unanimously positive reviews instantly translated into bookings, with a table as hard to get as at a Heston Blumenthal restaurant: when Square Meal Lifestyle was published in April, Dabbous was fully booked for dinner until September.
Square Meal’s editor Ben McCormack, who presented the award, praised the young chef and his passionate team. ‘Dabbous’ creative, forward-looking cuisine and industrial-styled dining room form a knockout combination – the sort of place where you’d feel as comfortable in jeans and a T-shirt as you would in a suit and tie,’ he said.
Chef-patron Dabbous paid tribute to his team, saying the award was ‘a boost’ for them and all their hard work. ‘This sort of recognition is really welcome,’ he said. ‘I’m proud to have set up a place in W1 on the budget we had. I had an idea of what I wanted to do and I made it happen.’
Assessing the merits of individual venues is a two-pronged approach. We rely on our reviewers’ knowledge and understanding of the restaurant scene, but also take on board the opinion of Square Meal readers (squaremeal.co.uk receives close to 30,000 individual visits each day).
The judges agreed that Dabbous – whose deceptively simple menu is underpinned by rock-solid culinary technique, and whose affordable offering is cooked up by a passionate, focused team – was the most remarkable new opening of the year so far. Other contenders for the spring BMW award included 10 Greek Street, 34, Burger & Lobster and The Delaunay – all compelling candidates.
Once again, our thanks go to BMW for its continued support of this prestigious award, and to our readers for their invaluable comments.