In a time where the kebab has been type-cast as the half naked, rat-arsed party goer of the food world, it’s unusual to sit drooling over one at midday, dark and stormy in hand, while taking a classy lunch break in Soho.
Well, let me introduce you to Le Bab; the polished, over-achieving brother of your 4am fetish.
On arrival to this (very Instagrammable) Kingly Court loft, we were asked if we could move tables as there was a bigger party turning up. Before we could happily oblige, our server offered us a round of free cocktails to compensate- really really excellent service guys. Fuckin’ A.
From the kitchen crack-team behind luxe french Mayfair joint Le Gavroche comes Le Bab, my new favourite smokey Soho hotspot. With a perfectly limited menu (nothing more than you’d need and nothing less) you’ll find a comfortingly familiar concept- the good ol’ kebab- yet here it’s amped up into a charcoal-fired fancy fare with sides like fondue fries. Let’s just say it’s clear these kebab’s are coming from Michelin starred kitchens.
Obviously, being a veggie I went for the smokey Paneer Bab. If you’re not up on the Paneer hype- you need to be. This stuff is a gloriously light and fresh South Asian cheese that you can do so much with. It’s not dense like halloumi or feta but more velvety and airy. Here, it was soaked in a BBQ marinade then rolled with beetroot puree, crispy onions, pickled celery, curry mayo and chilli sauce in the most ridiculously light chargrilled wrap you’ve ever nibbled on.
For a side order we grabbed a portion of fondue double-cooked fries. Now, in Le Bab’s words these are “an homage to the humble kebab van” and, I’m sorry, but if this is what they serve then why aren’t those van’s bloody everywhere? I mean, Jesus Christ dipping double cooked salty chips into a thick mature cheese fondue should be illegal amounts of pleasure for a Monday. Just check out the reviews here.
For the adventurous carnivores of the capital there’s a few really brilliant options; the free range chicken shish with squash hummus, garlic toum, and pickled carrots, which was a huge hit with my friends, or their 15-hour pork shawarma- a very popular offering indeed. Check out the menu here to pick your perfect bab.
The only thing left is to make sure you accompany your bab with a banging cocktail. Their Pineapple Express slugs Rosemary vodka, Sipsmith gin, and pineapple juice together with a singed lavender sprig on top. Did I mention this is NOTHING like a regular kebab joint?!
All in all, this smokey Soho spot is an all-round brilliant choice when bustling round the capital and will leave you feeling satisfyingly full and wonderfully adventurous with none of the fast-food guilt.