When Le Bab first opened, it put a new spin on the kebab.
And now it’s got a bigger, loftier, grander sibling.
This is Maison Bab. You’ll find it in Covent Garden opposite temper and abutting the Hawksmoor Seven Dials, and the owners seem to have the chops to follow through on their high-minded ambitions; after all the three chefs behind the whole enterprise met while working at Le Gavroche, and’ve since recruited two more ex-Le Gavroche staff. Co-founder Ed Brunet jokes “Michel Roux will be coming next”.
The venue itself is a two floor affair, sporting a grand open kitchen upstairs with a bar wrapped around it, as well as some racing green dining booths, and a huge neon sign dominating the main wall. Downstairs, things get more interesting with a sort of indoor ‘courtyard’ surrounded by blush pink seating and a second cocktail bar, and all hemmed in by a pair of fake shopfronts containing both the second open kitchen and the secret second restaurant (more on that later).
The menu has a core offering of four ‘babs, including 15hr pork shawarma with burnt pickled cabbage; lamb with Adana spices, chilli, and pickled shallots; classic chicken with charred broccoli & harissa; and marinaded celeriac with Cornish leaves. They’re wrapped in house-baked flatbreads, and they’re all under a tenner. Aside from that, you can expect focaccia sandwiches filled with vegan potato cakes or pork raclette; kale tabbouleh with pomegranate molasses; fried Donner beignets; and loooots more.
Sporting not one, but two cocktail bars, they’re slinging the likes of their Call Me By Your Name, which blends muddled peach, bourbon, and rosehip & hibiscus tea; alongside a healthy lineup of over half a dozen g&ts (the Bloody Shiraz involves a little red wine). They’ve even got a section of drinks with CBD – yes, that’s cannabis oil – in them; the Gin & Chronic is a simple sour-style number with lemon, egg white, and freedom from cataracts.
THE SECRET SECOND RESTAURANT
Hidden downstairs behind one of those fake shopfronts (which will appear closed to the average punter) you’ll find Kebab Queen. This is their chef’s table concept. It’s been three years in the making, and is designed to challenge preconceptions about both kebabs and chef’s tables. Once inside you’ll be able to get a 6-course tasting menu prepped by the head chef right on front of you, and served onto the counter itself. And yes, he was a former sous chef at Le Gavroche, too.
They’ll Roux the day they let him go.
NOTE: Maison Bab is open now – you can find out more and book HERE, or read more about Kebab Queen here.
Maison Bab | Mercer’s Walk, WC2H 9QE
Want to try out the original? Head on over to Le Bab…