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Disproving those gourmet kebab doubters, this tucked-away top-floor youngblood is packing in savvy Londoners, leaving Carnaby’s tourists to pick over Kingly Court’s more visible choices. Le Bab’s trump card is a clutch of hot-shot chefs (ex-Le Gavroche, no less), who make everything on the menu from scratch. Their line-up is sensibly short and reasonably priced, although we urge you to order at least two kebabs, served ‘open’ with cutlery. Admire the artful presentation, then get stuck into the likes of pork shawarma with skin crackling and broccoli purée or the equally good BBQ paneer version, its fiery charcoal flavours offset by light touches of beetroot and toum (garlic sauce). Seasonal sides might include purple kohlrabi salad, while specials such as grouse on basmati pilaf allow the kitchen to flex its muscles. The location is cramped, but bright and busy – so bag a counter seat and stay cool with a bottle from the London Beer Factory.
I originally had no intention of reviewing Le Bab. The first thing that put me off was the location – Soho’s Kingly Court (home of the risible Whyte and Brown) is effectively a mini shopping centre and, outside of South East Asia, malls tend to be the last places you’d want to eat out at. The second thing was the social media descriptions of the food served at Le Bab – ‘posh’ or ‘gourmet’ kebabs. ‘Posh’ is a loaded word full of classist connotations that has no place in the world of food where dishes should be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of their socioeconomic origin. ‘Gourmet’ is so overused that it belongs in...
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When you think of a Kebab shop, what springs to mind? A dodgy, little set-up with its own distinct smell, visited after a night out? Not anymore! Le Bab has created the first fancy Kebab in London and uses locally sourced, good quality ingredients to do so. The Kebab has been instilled in British culture and now has a &2bn a year economy and so when I found out about the Gourmet Kebab it wasn&t much of a surprise. Two young chefs who have interned at Michelin starred restaurants (including the famous Le Gavroche), have created this little gem which opened late last year in the Kingly Court location in Carnaby Street.
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