Le Bab – Review (Kingley Court, Carnaby Street) Long live the renaissance

Le Bab first was launched in January 2016 by founders Stephen Tozer and  former Le Gavroche chef Ed Brunet. As a duo since 2014, they laid their roots as a street vendors – I guess you can call this proof of concept before going whole-hog and renting premises. The pair who met at university, which is where they discovered their mutual love for the kebab, teamed up with two former Le Gavroche chefs’ Manuel Caneles Garces (he heads up the kitchen) and also chef de partie Angus Bell. The brief here is simple – a ‘kebab renaissance’ with an emphasis on British seasonality, combined with Middle Eastern flavours, great value wines and artisanal cocktails. It’s based on the 3rd floor of Kingly Court, which is a lively little place full of other restaurants and a crowd full of smiles. As you walk in the room is perfumed with charcoal cooking spice scented meats, and delicious smelling bread. It’s a good sign ahead.

The interior, despite being compact has an airy modernity, with patterned tiles, a concrete bar as well as an open kitchen where the grill smoke permeates the room – you will smell of smoke after!



The menus are easy to follow and we’re advised to go for some starters to share with a kebab, or “bab” each to go with them. It’s a relief to see some excellent value wines too.DSC06031


To kick proceedings off, I went for a Chelsea Blonde (£4.5), a zesty and fruity number – an ideal accompaniment to the spice that ensues. It’s chased down with one of their Smokey Sours which are delicious.DSC06032

Smokey Sour (£9), made with mezcal, Laphroaig whisky, lime and walnut syrup.DSC06035

Fondue Fries £4.50 (cheesy chips) were a double cooked homage to the humble kebab van, with a stout & stilton sauce. They were a warm hug on a plate.DSC06037

Lokma (£5) doughnut with spiced chicken liver parfait, were delectable little morsels soaked in syrup, with a smooth creamy liver centre. They’re definitely worth a try.DSC06039


Meatlafel – with braised lamb shoulder & beef shin, tzatziki. A clever bit of cooking combining in my mind some perfect cuts of meat that require slow cooking with added pistachio crunch. The spice and seasoning were perfectly judged. DSC06040


Corn fed chicken shish (£12). Squash hummus, season’s pickles, chicken crackling, Le Bab toum, biber, heritage carrot tops. So this is where the real action begun, a craggy, blistered piece of bread was slathered with the paste like hummus – its palate coating sweetness was a good counter balance to the spiced and caramelised chicken. It was a riot of texture, acidity, sweetness and tingling heat. DSC06050


Paneer (£11). BBQ paneer, beetroot puree, crispy onion, pickled rainbow shard stem, curry mayo. The crisp bread and paneer was the perfect vehicle to carry all the flavour that this mighty little dish packed.DSC06052


Endive & Pomegranate (£3.5). Lincolnshire endive, Iranian pomegranate, shallot dressing. Bitter sweet leaves dotted with jewels of fruity pomegranate, what’s there not to like?DSC06054

Crème Brûlée (£4.5). Spice with cardamon, cinnamon and cloves. One of my favourite puddings that comes with some spicy persuasion, it was fun to eat, especially when you can crack into the sugar lacquered crunchy lid.     DSC06057



The verdict:

When did I go? Feb 2017
The damage: Expect to pay £30/35 per head with drinks
The good: Le Bab is clever, fun and proof that kebabs are not just for the alcoholically impaired at 3am – the cooking is solid and accomplished with strong flavours and great ingredients.
The bad: Not a lot to grumble about. 
Rating: 4/5
Would I go again? When the craving comes 
Address: Top Floor, Kingly Court, Carnaby Street, London W1B 5PW
Web: https://eatlebab.com

Leave a Reply

Notify of