The thing that seems to concern most reviewers (professional/twitterati et al) is the decor of Dabbous, so let's get that out the way first. It won't be to everyone's tastes. If your idea of a fun night out is crisp white linen and waiting staff staring down their nose at you, Dabbous is not your cup of tea. If, however, you enjoy an informal environment in which to eat some of the best food being cooked in London at the moment, then you're in luck.
I'm not always a fan of small plate menus, but during a relaxed meal with good friends, sharing feels far more appropriate. We managed to get through most of the menu, which happily means I've been lucky enough to try most of the menu! Frankly, everything we tried was fantastic, so it's difficult to pinpoint particular highlights. Definitely worth trying though are the coddled egg, beef tartar and the fennel salad (best salad ever). Oh, and the mashed potato with roasting juices sounds (and is) simple but I cannot recommend it highly enough.
From the mains, the Iberico pork, crab and veal were all beautiful. We weren't sure we'd manage dessert, but had to try the chocolate, basil and sheeps milk ice cream. Not being possessed of an overly sweet tooth, the balance of sweet, savoury and salt was perfect for my palate.
The wine list is relatively short, but well priced. A bottle of Torrontés and one of Malbec both priced in the early twenties, and both were delicious (and apparently produced by Hennessy/Moet et Chandon in Argentina, as the very young looking but terribly dapperly dressed sommelier advised us....)
The tasting menu at £49 seems something of a steal, but with 5 starters, 5 mains and 3 desserts to share amongst 4, you can certainly get out for less.
I'd say I'll be back shortly, but unless I can find my way clear to visit for a mid-week lunchtime meal, that sadly won't be the case...