Dabbous is a strikingly modern and stylish new restaurant/basement bar set over two floors located in the heart of elegant Fitzrovia, London (39 Whitfield St, London, W1T 2SF [Map]). Situated on a corner, in an area immersed in ongoing works and scaffolding, given that it’s currently attracting more and more businesses, Dabbous’ location first strikes you as brave and pioneering.
Dabbous’ décor is certainly no less so. The metal doors, where the establishment’s name features above in simple typography, give a hint of what lies inside. Upon entering, you are instantly struck by the stark and contemporary interior design, as Dabbous has been designed around a raw and uncompromising concept envisioned by owner, British Chef Oliver Dabbous, and realised by the interior design agency Brinkworth. Concrete floors, metal mesh panels and purposefully pared back wall coverings give the space a severely urban feel.
The metal beams and the use of wire mesh wall hangings – highlighted by equally minimal tiered lighting features – all work to further add to the space’s aggressively stripped-back and moody aesthetic. The boldness of the aesthetic in the restaurant bar gives it freshness and youthfulness when compared to the more luxurious and over-the-top venues more commonly to be found in this area of London.
The kitchen sits behind a glass panel and the honest and functional surroundings perfectly showcase its much-applauded modern European cuisine. During the day, sunlight floods into the space through the large windows and bounces around the sleek interior giving a greater sense of space. There is an overall honest and open feel about this restaurant that renders it welcoming and comfortable, despite its intense urban style.
At night, the space is transformed, as candle-light reflects upon the abundant textures that range from metal to glass to the stark bricks. This space may be laid back and seem simple at first sight, yet in reality its overall look is finely constructed; the more time you spend in this venue, the more you comprehend how diligently eclectic it really is.
This is achieved by ensuring that all the elements of the restaurant design work together to create an atmosphere that, to an extent, veil its constructiveness through the introduction of organic textures and materials. The industrial, New York style warehouse feel has been made more comfortable for diners by merging it with more organic, Scandinavian design features. The strong wooden furniture is majestic in its form and robustness.
Rather than being hidden below a table-cloth, it is contrastingly enhanced by a simple tea light. Overall, Dabbous is definitely not lacking in innovative design elements; there is in fact a wealth of design essentials from the striking array of blown glass lamps to the nod to the 60’s design with the curvy shape of the copper and steel piping.