Located in the Mercer Walk development on Seven Dials, Maison Bab comprises a new style modern kebab house, bar and a hidden 10-seater fine dining restaurant - Kebab Queen. The new venture is a collaboration between Tozer, Brunet and Le Bab executive chef Manu Canales (previously sous chef at the two Michelin-starred Le Gavroche) who will personally head up the kitchen at Kebab Queen.
The vibe in the main restaurant at Maison Bab will be relaxed and super-casual. The menu sees the introduction of a new style of kebab for the trio, with more rustic, bolder flavours than its Soho sister site. The eight-strong kebab menu (priced under £10) will sit alongside a selection of starter dishes, manoushe, sides and dessert options, with ingredients retaining Le Bab’s hallmark focus on quality, seasonality and provenance. There’s a particular focus on vegan dishes alongside the meatier fare. The kebabs, as ever, will be handmade from scratch with flatbreads made in-house in a custom-designed oven, using focaccia-style dough.
Starters at Maison Bab include doner beignet and an Indo-Iranian mutton curry, with the only familiar dish in an all new menu being Le Bab’s now-famous fondue fries - with the optional addition of a signature Iskender sauce. Kebabs include a Raclette shawarma, Drunken Iskender chicken shish and vegan options such as Miso celeriac shish with pickled crispy onions and toum. A collection of house-made manoushe - Lebanese pizza - with toppings such as Yorkshire lamb, Sussex labneh, chilli and za'atar, will also be available.
Maison Bab extends its ingredient-driven philosophy into its drinks, treating select spirits and liqueurs delicately to allow them to shine. Healthy herbal tinctures, infusions and seasonal fruit syrups, all made in-house, will also be deployed in the cocktails. Try the Tea for summer, with muddled peach, hibiscus and gin, or the Grapsico, which brings together South America and Italy using pisco and dry vermouth. These sit alongside a selection of unusual wines by the glass, such as an orange Czech Pinot Noir and Moroccan Syrah. There’s also a list of local craft beer, including London Beer Factory’s Bohemia on tap.
Hidden downstairs behind the kitchen will be the new site’s crown jewel. Launching later this year, Kebab Queen is the culmination of Tozer, Brunet and Canales’ project to explore modern culinary approaches to the kebab. Acting as Manu’s own chef’s table, the intimate restaurant will seat up to 10 guests around its open kitchen; serving a six-course kebab-centric tasting menu at £55 per person. Manu and his kitchen team will focus on intense flavour and creativity, with a marked focus on bringing fun to the dining experience. There will be the option of an accompanying drinks flight alongside a carefully created list of fine wines.
The interiors in both restaurants are by award-winning designer Angus Buchanan. Buchanan has created a colourful, striking and outspoken space, contrasting with the understated elegance of Le Bab. Opulent finishes and geometric patterns define both Maison Bab and Kebab Queen, with a dusty pink colour theme uniting both spaces. The ground floor restaurant offers spacious booth seating in racing green, as well as bar seats for counter dining around the giant theatre kitchen. Venture down to the basement to discover some surprises: walls decorated with 50,000 playing cards; facades that pay homage to Britain's great kebab tradition; and an exposed mis en place kitchen showcasing the ‘from scratch’ cooking process for which Le Bab is renowned. The decor in Kebab Queen will be ‘kitchen meets colour’ - with walls clad in stainless steel and pink velvet, pink concrete floor tiles and luxurious cobalt blue leather stools.
Maison Bab offers 45 covers at ground level, with a further 30 seats in the basement space (available for private hire). Kebab Queen will seat 10 (also available for private hire). Both restaurants will offer reservations, with Maison Bab also offering delivery to the Covent Garden and Soho area.
Ahead of the new restaurant launch, Tozer comments: “Maison Bab represents a completely new concept for us. We love Le Bab, and wouldn’t change it for the world. But at Maison Bab we’ll be offering something punchier, bolder, and more surprising. We’ve been developing this concept for almost two years now, so we’re incredibly excited to unveil what we’ve been working on. Kebabs offer a huge breadth of culinary scope, and this restaurant will celebrate that diversity. The philosophy on quality ingredients will stay the same, but diners will be in for a very different experience. We are really excited about some new vegan ‘hero dishes’ on the menu at Maison Bab, and with Kebab Queen Manu and the team will offer something extra special. We hope to make this one of the best kebab houses in the world, adding to London’s already incredible and diverse restaurant scene.”
Maison Bab and Kebab Queen follow the success of Le Bab, which opened in Soho’s Kingly Court in April 2016 to critical acclaim from the likes of Tom Parker-Bowles (Mail on Sunday) and Giles Coren (The Times) – with the latter commenting that the food was “beyond delicious".
Maison Bab will open at Mercer Walk, Covent Garden on Monday 17th September, with 50% off food during the soft launch week, 17th to 23rd September. Booking is recommended and reservations can now be made via www.eatlebab.com. Kebab Queen will open later this year, with further details to be revealed shortly.
For further information please contact Paul Simpson on firstname.lastname@example.org.