Maison Bab: Covent Garden's Kings Of The Fancy Doner

Maison Bab ★★★★☆

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Maison Bab: Covent Garden's Kings Of The Fancy Doner Maison Bab 4
All the babs. Photo by Justin de Souza.

Maison Bab's one of the three restaurants from kings of London's fancy doner scene (it's a scene), Le Bab.

Sitting in a sweet spot where kebab craftsmanship meets messy pleasure, ingredients are chosen with love and obsessive care, chicken and pork free-range, all the sauces, rubs and toppings made in-house.

Perversely, we're vaguely hoping the donor beignets will be a meat version of their New Orleans sugary choux namesakes: gamey and sweet like a pastilla. They're not, and probably better for it. The Maison Bab take's a crunchy-crumbed, deep-fried ball of lamb and beef, with chilli and garlic sauces to dip it in — gives out a little puff of meaty air when you bite into it. Altogether great as a bar snack for carnivores, it's actually eclipsed by the less memorable-sounding meat butter naan we've also ordered as a starter. Made using the excess juices from their doner beignets, it's a taut-dough masterpiece, an unassuming hero dish that probably isn't going to start swamping your Instagram feed but absolutely deserves a place in your heart/dinner plans.

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Doner beignet, the new Ferrero Rocher?

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The main dish section features some belters — including lamb adana dipped in molasses lamb jus, covered in pickles, crunchily-fried onions and chermoula mayo. The meat's tender, smoky-sweet, the good kind of chewy. The crunch against tenderness against sauce is beautifully balanced. The bloom of heat's slow and heady. It's so, so good — and it's not even our favourite. That honour goes to the fried chicken shish: BBQd chicken, chicken crackling, pickles, fiercely zingy slaw.  

It's worth noting that February marks the launch of their bottomless kebab brunch — bottomless pork shawarma kebabs and aubergine sabichs, bottomless cocktails — which sounds like the most brilliant way to absolutely write off your Saturday we've heard of in a fair while.

Maison Bab — all the sauce-leaking pleasure of a late-night kebab, all the lowlit charm and bang-on cocktails of your new favourite date night or ruinous brunch spot.

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Maison Bab, 4 Mercer Walk, WC2H 9FA.

Last Updated 10 February 2020