I went out for a drink this weekend to Oskar’s – a bar that’s just under Dabbous. This is just around the corner from my office. I’d always thought it was a restaurant (and one that was hard to get into – for those of you who don’t know, Dabbous has a waiting list of one year). But someone mentioned they have a bar. As an added bonus, you can sample some of the restaurant’s food (and desserts) at the bar.
Just to give you some context, this area has quite a few of my favourite bars – Crazy Bear down the road, Charlotte Street Hotel, the bar at Bambou, the one at the Sandersons as well as great local pubs. So to get me to come back, Oskars was really going to have to be special. And based on that waiting list, my expectations were high! I really liked the vibe as Oskar’s. It wasn’t pretentious – the decor was industrial and stripped back. Unusually, the crowd was young and different from the crowd around Charlotte Street. There was even a hen party in (although they were not raucous). The drinks were really nice, and reasonably priced for the area and the restaurant with a fair few options under the £10 mark.
And the food – it was spectacular. Ever since moving to London, I’ve moved away from the fire and spice of Indian food and like simple, light food – where the focus is on good ingredients. And Dabbous certainly delivered on this front. We had the burrata, which is a cheese made from buffalo’s milk, paired with a sour tomato from South America. We also had the toasted sweetcorn with salted butter and meadowsweet (I had to look meadowsweet up!). They were both executed perfectly. It was unusual bar food and we were particularly happy with the vegetarian choices.
Our friendly waitress also took the time to explain each dish to us, telling us where it was sourced from and the way the chef intended for it to be eaten. Unusually, she was also interested in what we thought of the flavours afterwards. It was really nice not to experience the perfunctory “how was your meal”. We were therefore happy enough to take her recommendation for dessert and tried the custard cream pie and the strawberries with Tahitian vanilla ice cream. Again, just brilliant – including the temperature my ice cream was served at!
To cut a short story short, I’m definitely going to go back to Dabbous! They really did win me over.