Tabun. I wonder if the owners know what tabun means in Japanese. It means maybe. So maybe kitchen, an interesting choice to name your eatery. I guess it makes it easy for waiters to respond to questions about food.
Customer: How is your kofta? Is it the talk of the town? Something to die for?
Customer: Do you think this Bloody Mary will go well with my falafel?
Customer: Do you actually cook anything worth eating here?
I have been complained at to inform me forcefully that people do not understand when I am being sarcastic. Here, I am being sarcastic… This would turn out to be a not bad meal.
Interestingly, Tabun Kitchen is rather unfortunately located right next to another sign advertising something rather different. Some customers might be confused when they duck their heads in to look for plumbing, heating or other sanitary appliances. So, when you pop into Tabun Kitchen, instead of the lemon Fairy liquid you were looking for, you might find another type of lemony liquid.
Lemonade. Cool and refreshing, as lemonade is supposed to be. This was refreshing preparation for the meal.
Jerusalem Falafel, falafel with sumac onion centre. Crunchy on the outside, soft and moist inside, a good start.
Spicy Shrimp, lemon, garlic and chili. A tad overcooked, nonetheless tasty.
Mini Mezze, hummus, Moutabal smoked aubergine and Ful Mudammas (fava beans). The aubergine and fava beans were not bad. The humus was good. Made me wish that I could have had a bigger portion of this.
Tabun bread. Full of hot air (in a good way), unlike some people I know. Light and ideal to mop up the sauces.
Musakhan Chicken, sumac roast chicken, onions, pine nuts and flat-bread. This was ok but I especially enjoyed the flat bread, stuffed onions and pine nuts inside making for a good accompaniment to the chicken. The chicken was a bit too heavily imbued with lemon though, turning the experience into something a bit too sour for me. Although maybe I am too sensitive to tart food (and people). Others might enjoy it.
Tahini-tossed salad. Fresh and light. A healthy alternative to the other side dish.
Za’atar Fries with Toum garlic sauce. The chips were good and more to my likening than the healthy alternative. I generally prefer flavour over health most of the time as often I prefer to live a happy life, rather than a sad and long one. My only suggestion is that it didn’t really need the dipping sauce as they were good on their own.
Lamb Makloubeh, slow-cooked lamb, thyme-grilled vegetables, rice and pine nuts. Avoiding citrus overpowerment, this was not bad with strong lamb flavours, and lovely buried roast aubergine and tomato. Although the lamb was sadly a bit dry.
Muhulabieh, rose scented milk pudding, crushed pistachios and orange blossom honey. Something to love if you have a sweet tooth.
Knafeh, akkawi cheese, kataifi pastry and orange blossom syrup. Probably the highlight of this meal. It was crispy, sweet, crunchy and hot. A delightful way to end. If there is one reason to swing by, this is it.
With a lovely refubrished interior, this is a great place to kick your heels back, take a breather and have a refreshing lemonade. With a sometime tropical drink like this in hand, it is particularly apt as an oasis to escape the madness of nearby Oxford Street and Soho. So if you are getting tired of fighting the hordes and looking for something to eat, you might, or I should say maybe, want to swing by Tabun Kitchen.
A quiet eating 7/10.
We were invited to review. Estimated cost (3 courses) was GBP30 excluding drinks and service.
77 Berwick St, Soho,
London W1F 8TH