Ollie Dabbous shows up with a new joint in an ‘Experimental’ hotel in Covent Garden
It’s a meeting of great food and drink minds and as such is deserving of a lot of cogitation. The Experimental Group, the French team behind Parisian hotels and The Experimental Cocktail Bar (a speakeasy behind a knackered old door in Chinatown), and Ollie Dabbous, renegade Michelin-starred chef, have teamed up and dreamed up Henrietta, a new joint in the Experimentalist’s new hotel of the same name.
The food therefore has a French dimension (Dabbous is ex Manoir and Texture) but is simple and innovative and is sure to get people talking. Sheep milk curds with pistachio and lime; beef tartare with tobacco, whisky and rye; barbecued quail with toasted wheat, clover and raisins; cod with potted shrimps and cauliflower puree.
And everything is wrapped up in an unfolding design narrative. The modern, classic interior of the hotel, dashed with random objets, accompanies a whip smart cocktail menu inspired by literary works including those of Kurt Vonnegut, Kingsley Amis, Orwell and Cronin.
The hotel is a welter of inspirations and interpretations with the food, drinks and design all sitting closely alongside each other, with Mixellany drinks historians Jared Brown and Anistatia Miller dreaming up the booze cruise. Designer Dorothee Meilichzon has decorated the boutique destination with mirrors, plants in frames, parquet flooring, all creating glamour, light.
Dabbous has closed his eponymous groundbreaking venture in the Charlotte Street area and has found time to work on both this and a new project in that location (he has also closed his Barnyard project). The new Dabbous is keenly awaited by all (including the staff who are all involved in the new venture).
For now Henrietta has provided not only Dabbous but an amazingly talented group of people a canvas on which to display their particular skills. Quite unique.