Forget the Men’s 100m Final, the toughest ticket to get your mitts on is a lunch table at Oliver Dabbous’ eponymous Noho restaurant – currently taking bookings for some point in mid-2013. Mr Dabbous’ cv reads like a Who’s Who of great European restaurants – Noma, Fat Duck, Le Manoir, Texture - and this is borne out in the simple, imaginative and accomplished cooking.
I had jammed a late invitation from wine writer and winegang member Jane Parkinson, who had presciently booked a table before the accolades had started flying. We were joined by wine writer turned wine merchant, Amelia Pinsent, whose husband Matthew Jukes had double booked himself for a session of Beach Volleyball at Horseguard’s Parade, hence my call up. I know which I’d have chosen!
We were all steered towards the tasting menu, which at £54 rates as pretty good value for such things. We chose our own wines from a short list, a refreshing Muscat Alsace followed by a mid-weight organic Brouilly 2010, kicked back and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Highlights were an impeccable pea and mint puree with granita, a wonderful tranche of pork with acorn and almond praline (peanut butter to you and me) and the coddled egg with wild mushrooms that sat on a nest of straw. I joked with the relaxed GM Graham whether we should eat the straw, only to find out that one customer had done so!
The downstairs bar, staffed by savvy and friendly bar tenders, is well worth checking out and accessible even if you can’t blag a table in the restaurant!