2 years ago
Kebabs. You think you know them, and then they go off on a fancy holiday, get a tan, their teeth whitened… yep, kebabs have had a glow up.
When Le Bab announced it was opening it’s latest restaurant in Brixton, there was a lot of excitement. The chain have a couple of other spots throughout London with a mission to reinvent the kebab as Brits have come to know them. No longer are they the greasy, 3am post-Big Night Out snack to stave away a hangover. Now they are a delicious, kind of fancy, meal.
In prime location on the corner of Brixton Village, Le Bab has landed. With nods to its classic greasy cousins, the space looks a little like something you’d expect to see open into the early hours of a Sunday morning. But everything is a lot more swanky. The lighting is just so, the tables are clean, and there’s no threat of anyone throwing up in the corner.
The menu is simple but really well done. You can choose from a selection of snacks for the table and then a larger kebab dish. The staff are extremely helpful in explaining how it works, letting you know what goes with what and the things that they’d recommend. They’re happy to take your order or, if you prefer, you can just put it through the app and it will be on your table in no time.
To kick start our meal we went for a few sharers. The padron peppers were a great salty pre-meal nibble to get the juices flowing. We tried both kinds of naan (garlic and the ‘meat butter’). Absolutely delicious and the meat butter gave a depth of flavour we’d never experience in a bread before. Though wonderful by themselves, they doubled up as dippers for any extra fondu sauce or garlic mayo, condiments which really levelled up the whole meal. The Turkish Korean fried chicken were glazed with a date and chilli coating, and the mix of sweet and spicy made them incredibly moorish- this is the kind of dish that you’ll want to order your own portion of. To finish off the sharers we welcomed a hefty heap of dirty shawarma fries. Dirty indeed. Double cooked fries topped with pork shawarma, more of that delicious garlic mayo and chilli sauce. Again, it was hard to stop picking through them. Our head was saying ‘the kebabs are coming’, our hearts were saying ‘just one more fry’. Heart won.
The kebabs themselves really were the stars of the show. It’s clear through the presentation and quality of ingredients that Le Bab are really invested in changing the perception of kebab culture in the UK. We were certainly convinced. Each one has a little ‘extra’ to really make them sparkle. The chicken comes with Southern fried crispy chicken skin for the crunch, the paneer kebab with a fresh beetroot and coconut puree. It’s kebabs in the classic sense that you are getting a whole bunch of stuff wrapped up in a pillowy naan, but it is so much more than that.
It’s fun to see how street food like this is getting a strong upgrade, and Le Bab are certainly the trail-blazers in the kebab world. Next time you’re struck with a craving, treat yourself to something that will really hit the spot.