Kebab Queen - Chris Snook Photography
Jason Allen 25/04/23
There’s no other restaurant quite like Kebab Queen in the city. Maybe the nation.
Just finding it is a bit of a challenge – you’ll have to make your way to Maison Bab in Covent Garden, then make your way downstairs and past a secluded kitchen area Goodfellas-style to the restaurant itself that looks like an actual late-night kebab shop. Only it’s indoors. Underground. And hidden by a pastel pink curtain. Pull that curtain back, and inside you’ll find in what appears to be a kitchen wrapped around a ivory-white countertop with plush, cobalt-blue seats for just eight people.
And that’s not even the really unusual bit. That would be the bit about the fact that, here, the food is all served without plates, and frequently without cutlery either. And presently it doesn’t have a chef – he’s going on a sabbatical to spend time with family. So the talented Philli Armitage-Mattin is filling in, and making the place her own personal fiefdom for the three-month stretch starting on May 17th. You may have seen her in the finals of MasterChef: The Professionals, but she’s had a hell of a career besides that, training under Gordon Ramsay, cutting her teeth at two Michelin-starred Den in Tokyo, and running her own lauded residency at Number One Park Lane.
The multi-course tasting menu she’s developed takes full advantage of the restaurant’s unique setup. You see, that small bar you’re sitting at? Is actually a custom-made, heated, pristine white countertop that the food is served directly on top of. Eating with your hands is strongly encouraged, because regardless of the fancy touches the chefs apply, this is still supposed to be a kebab place. And you’ll be face-to-face with Philli herself as she busily preps the dishes, chopping, searing, grilling, blowtorching, and chatting away.
The umami-packed, kebab-style dishes she’s cooking up will swing from oysters with green nam jim & lime leaf kombucha; to crab chawanmushi with peas & XO sauce; Sichuan lamb skewers with aubergine & chiu chow chilli oil; bbq cabbage leaf with crispy oxtail & anchovy mayo; Indonesian-style stuffed chicken wing with chicken fat rice & chicken skin crumb; and brown butter cakes with whey ice cream & pickled strawberries – to name but a few.
Or, to put it another way, she is the Kebab Queen.
NOTE: Philli Armitage-Mattin will take up residency in Kebab Queen for three months from May 17th. You can find out more, and make a booking at the website right here.
Kebab Queen | Downstairs at Maison Bab, Mercer’s Walk, WC2H 9QE
And once you’ve been to Kebab Queen….you can work your way through the rest of Covent Garden’s best restaurants.
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Mercer's Walk, Covent Garden, WC2H 9QE
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020 3802 0990
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