408 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, SW9 8LF
Book online – https://www.eatlebab.com/lebabbrixton
If you thought this was just a drop-by following a night out that involved too many cocktails and beers, then think again. This is definitely an upmarket kebab house in what was the vegan cupcake establishment. There’s a wall of glass bricks hiding some of the kitchen, with tables (some very rickety) and chairs spilling out into the side entrance to Market Row.
You probably need to book, as we had to beg for a table at 6.30pm and only had 40 minutes to order and eat. The menu has starters or sharers, mains and potentially a dessert, but we were not hungry enough to even look. It’s one of a small chain (5 currently) but the menus differ between locations. The paper menu did not reflect everything on offer and offered drinks that were unavailable. So don’t be too downhearted there are likely to be surprises, if your chosen tipple has run out.
We concentrated on main courses, but the starters/sharing plates were salads, breads and a variety of chips with a cheesy fondue to dip them in. Most main courses are meat, with a couple of veggie dishes (paneer and aubergine). We chose from the pork and chicken varieties – I had a Dirty Bab (menu description was almost an essay – a very naughty Pork Ribeye Shawarma, slow-cooked for 15 hours with chilli pork jus, sweet pickled cucumbers, fries, chermoula mayo & our signature fondue sauce).
My companion had a Free-Range Fried Chicken Shish Kebab – with no description at all!
Meals come in a wooden box with wooden cutlery, which you definitely need if you are lining your stomach for a good night out and wearing your party best. Trying to put the bread around the filling is clearly a skill that we have yet to fully master, at least until you have eaten some of the insides. Each layer of the kebab was a surprise including the hidden fries inside the Dirty Bab. The sweet pickled cucumber provided a bit of bite and the pork was definitely a step up from most kebabs, soft and a little sweet from the mayo. The fries were (I suppose) to be dipped into the little tub of fondue, but by the time I had thought of it most of them had disappeared (again a good bit of bite if you eat reasonably quickly). So I spooned out the cheesy sauce – it was delicious and full of… calories.
The free-range chicken kebab was equally stuffed and required careful manipulation to make it manageable. Not totally sure what was in there but red onion and fresh coriander were spotted, which helps any dish. No chips with this choice, but there was enough to share with the Dirty Bab.
We drank a beer and a lemon and cucumber drink that was refreshing but sweet – maybe a touch too sweet. The whole meal came to just under £40, so definitely not a cheap eat.