Kebab Queen at Maison Bab

Silver Award
££££
Middle Eastern, Turkish

Kebab Queen at Maison Bab
Kebab Queen at Maison Bab
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SquareMeal Review of Kebab Queen at Maison Bab

Silver Award

Head down to the basement beneath Maison Bab and you’ll see what looks like a traditional high-street kebab shop. Walk through the faux frontage, however, and you’ll find yourself in London’s (and quite possibly the world’s) only restaurant serving a kebab tasting menu.

Kebab Queen’s simple set-up sees a tiny space featuring blush pink curtains and cobalt-blue leather stools surrounding a chef’s table of just 10 seats. It’s a restaurant which throws you off centre, delicately straddling the fine line between serious dining experience and all-out parody.

The silly name hints at Kebab Queen’s sense of playfulness. Guests eat with their hands directly from the heated counter top, which is made from a bacteria-resistant material called Dekton. Clean freaks will be reassured to know that surfaces are wiped down between each course with an edible disinfectant that is essentially a blend of vodka and lemon.

The food is serious in style, but the lack of plates inspires messiness and fun – the staff actively encourage mopping up surplus sauce with your finger or letting juice drip down your chin.

Head chef Manu Canales explains each dish as he ‘plates’ it directly onto the counter and his creations are something to behold. The best thing we ate was the ‘doner risotto’, which is really a lamb jus risotto finished with classic kebab garnishes (think blobs of garlic and chilli sauce). It’s crowned with lamb’s tongue, which is shaved on top in mimicry of truffle shavings.

We also loved the melt-in-the-mouth duck slices, which are served with a crust of crispy Persian rice which you pull apart with your fingers.

The seven-course feast ends on a sweet note: milk buns which are filled with caramelised cream and topped with crème fraiche, providing the perfect hit of childish indulgence. The optional drinks pairing is also worth paying extra for, featuring excellent wines, port and even beer.

It would be easy to dismiss Kebab Queen as a gimmick, but Canales’ intense passion and creativity prove that this is no joke. His message is loud and clear – it’s time to start taking kebabs seriously.

About Kebab Queen at Maison Bab

Just when you thought you’d seen it all on London’s ever-eventful restaurant scene, along comes a high-end, kebabs-only chef’s table. Found underneath purveyors of pimped-up kebabs Maison Bab in Covent Garden, the brilliantly named Kebab Queen serves a seven-course tasting menu, with guests encouraged to eat with their hands (perhaps a homage to the humble, late-night kebabs of old?)

Diners sit front row around the kitchen, perched on one of 10 cobalt blue, leather-clad stools. Some design features echo that of a traditional kebab joint, such as the stainless steel walls, while others appear to have been designed with social media in mind – witness the pastel pink curtains and the pink tiled concrete floor.

The chef’s table is hidden behind the illuminated façade of a classic British kebab shop, with dishes cooked on a custom wood-fired grill, before being served directly onto a heated Dekton countertop (no fiddly bits like plates and cutlery here, thank you very much.) The multi-course menu kicks off with two starters, including the likes of a foie gras kebabito: a miniature, two-bite kebab of barbecued foie gras. Other dishes you’ll come across include a doner risotto (lamb jus risotto finished with classic garnishes and shavings of lamb tongue), and a fish course of chargrilled shish kebab of monkfish, served with chicken skin and ‘plated’ onto a charred cabbage leaf.

For your main course, you’ll enjoy a rum-aged Spit Roast Fesenjan Duck. Inspired by the dish of Iranian stew, it is served with a crust of crisp Persian rice, intended to be pulled apart with your fingers. Dessert meanwhile, will be presented as ‘Got Milk?’ – an ode to the head chef's childhood, this sweet treat sees freshly-baked, sticky milk buns filled with caramelised cream and topped with crème fraiche sorbet.

 

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cuisines
Middle Eastern, Turkish
Ambience
Cool, Fun
Special Features
Chef’s table, Counter dining
People
Special occasions

Kebab Queen at Maison Bab is featured in

Best Middle Eastern restaurants in London Best chef's counters

Location for Kebab Queen at Maison Bab

4 Mercer Walk, London, London, WC2H 9FA

07751 240029

Website

Opening Times

Dinner
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu 19:30-23:00
Fri 19:30-23:00
Sat 19:30-23:00
Sun Closed

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