London is having quite a period of poshification- apparently you can pretty up everything and anything and whack a hefty pricetag on it. That is not to say everything hit by this trend is bad. Because not all things hipster (or plain hip) is bad. Case in point- the kebab at Le Bab, a posh kebab place is WONDERFUL. I am talking about seriously orgasmic, huge-sparkly-eye wonder. As in ‘a world of endless wonder’- well, a kebab of endless wonder anyways.
I was first attracted to le Bab by their beautiful instagrams. You see, this place is apparently kicking up quite the stir on social media. Can kebabs be posh? Can it be healthy? Can it transcend that gross stuff you eat when you’re drunk at 3 am? Can food look this photogenic and genuinely taste good? And to answer all those questions? YES. YES! YEEESSSS!
For some (unknown) reason, no one wanted to go to Le Bab with me. Perhaps it was too trendy or… (actually I figured out why at the end of this post). So, I went by my lonesome one day to experience this beautiful kebab. And it was SO delicious I then dragged (well, it was really hard to convince them after I raved about the chips with fondue dip) a few bunchers for seconds.
First thing first: their kebabs are easy to photograph. No wonder it’s an instagram darling. The plethora of colours and textures on the kebab meant that a quick snap and filter and you have instagold. That’s good because it means that you can snap a picture quickly, forget about it and move onto the star of the evening- inhaling the food. For our lunch, we decided on splitting a starter, 2 fries and 2 kebabs.
Never had a Lokma before? Well, us neither. Don’t worry, it’s just a Turkish word for donut (thanks, wiki!). How do we make it better you say? Stuff this with some liver pate and coat it with honey, nuts and petals obviously! I personally thought it could be more light-footed (but I think that with most donuts) but it was tasty and there was a good contrast of texture and sweet/salty/sour.
I really enjoyed all 3 kebabs I’ve had at Le Bab. Of them all, the paneer is the absolute standout for me. The crispy onions gave it texture and the curry mayo/beetroot smear at the bottom created a lovely contrast in flavour. Also, I love paneer, so that’s always a plus. Le bab wins over a kebab house in that all 3 had good textures and salty/sour contrasts to it. The crackling on the pork kebab brought something exciting to that one as did the pickled cauliflower to the chicken one.
I finished my meal off with a super smooth creme brulee that had a good caramel topping (urgh, all those sad little creme brulee with a smattering of burnt sugar) and good cardamom and spice flavours to it. Perhaps a little rich for a lunchtime indulgence but hey, I went to the gym in the morning and didn’t eat breakfast!
I super enjoyed my meal at Le bab and would definitely return. My only cavet is that this place was really dear for what it was. I mean, I understand that rent in Kingly Court would cost an arm and a leg (and then some more) but £12 for a kebab is A LOT and I’m not sure this would be a dinner sort of place for me. My fellow diners felt that it was a lot of style over substance (hey look at those pictures) and perhaps there is a bit of truth in it as this is the kind of super hipster place I would normally avoid. But I did love the kebabs, so… #conflicted? (Basically, this would be a favourite if it was 25% cheaper.)
Price: Looking to set you back around £20 without alcohol.
2nd Floor, Kingly Court