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|Address:||39 Whitfield Street, London W1T 2SF|
|Tel:||020 7323 1544|
|Price: £66.00||Wine: £21.00||Champagne: £60.00|
|Opening Hours:||Tues-Sat 12N-3pm 5.30-11.30pm (Sat -6.30pm)|
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
I'd booked this restaurant in August last year and promptly forgot about the reservation until a couple of weeks ago when I started to get excited. It had so many accolades but now, having been there, that leaves me perplexed.
There is a singular lack of atmosphere throughout this abandoned warehouse minimalist design. It feels unfinished and a little disconnected. That permeated the dining room and quite frankly I have never seen so many miserable people all eating dinner in the same restaurant. We were sat right behind the reception desk as well so essentially we had someone's back (and bum) facing us the entire meal – not a great start. We chose the tasting menu though we were told all the dishes even on the a la carte menu were tasting sized…I'm confused, why not then just do a few tasting menus – instead of charging a la carte prices and insisting diners order 6 or so (expensive) dishes? Moving on. My friend asked for wine advice – he had been looking at a Rioja and the Sommelier chose to point him to a totally different type of red (as if all red wines were interchangeable) and eventually said why not go with the original choice.
And then the food arrived.
I can only imagine that Oliver Dabbous has an obsession with nuts because 3 of the 7 dishes had nuts in them and these were not subtle additions. The avocado and lemon balm was overpowered by the pistachios. The infusion was nice but too gentle to compete or make an impression and the avocado seemed like it was just plonked in as an afterthought. Overall, a pointless dish. The roast salsify was equally overpowered by the brazil nuts and by the time we got to the Iberico pork (lovely meat – horrendously walnuty sauce), I had reached my nut quota. The only dishes we liked were the crab which was succulent and the buckwheat waffle with fudge sauce which was nice but utterly uninspired. On first glance this looks like an interesting menu but the flavours do not marry together most of the time and sometimes clash in a way I would expect from someone's first efforts in the kitchen rather than Michelin-starred chef type way.
I can only imagine that it is curiosity that prompts people to visit this restaurant but with the sheer amount of choice in London, there are far better options to pursue.