BEST PART: The Tomatoes!
New arrival Tabure is like the good looking person everyone wants to be friends with. If he were a man rather than a restaurant I would certainly fancy him! Tabure smells inviting, there is some lovely foot level tile work to welcome you over the threshold and it’s all centred around an impressive big flaming grill. Much as I mourn the loss of our favourite Japanese restaurant Sukiyaki (sorry Kimaya), I was highly impressed with the transformation of the tired peach toned 1970s interior to this smart, modern gaff. The interior was almost a fusion of the en-trend industrial looks of Jamie’s and Bill’s with the calming blue and white details of Lussmann’s.
I was a little nervous of the high level tables and bar stools by the window, favouring the standard height tables but then I am clumsy and fairly short. Lots of people like to be high up these days, one might say it is en-trend. I don’t. I don’t like the idea of falling off a stool on the way to the toilet.
And what of the toilets? They need a mention. As we all know, grey is en-trend (last time) at the moment. Tabure are aware of this and demonstrated it with a delightful mix of soft grey tones against crisp white sanitary ware. It is true they are individual unisex cubicles but even a man would want to keep such a beautiful little room tidy wouldn’t he?
The Menu was a challenge for my husband, possessing as he does those most male of traits, thriftiness and a refusal to ask for help. It shows a range of up-market mezze that are little unusual, but unfortunately these are smushed together with what one would hope from the price are main courses with little indication of which is which. The suggestion was that you order 3-4 dishes each, but as some of the dishes were over a tenner this would lead to you forking out over £40 each just on food. Eventually he retreated into a slight sulk leaving me free rein on the menu, which meant we tried the vegetarian options (with a bowl of chicken wings to placate his animal-destroying urges).
I was particularly excited by the idea of the battered courgette flower stuffed with ricotta. This was the first to arrive, along with the wings. This was very good but the highlight of our whole dining experience was actually the tomato on the side. I had no idea that tomatoes could be magical but let me tell you, at Tabure they are. I don’t know what they do to these tomatoes, perhaps it is a special type, perhaps they marinade them in love and kisses but what ever they do is the right thing. Oh my giddy goodness I am still thinking about them now! They were so sweet. The courgette flower itself was great too, yummy batter and stuffed with creamy ricotta and a tiny little surprise kick of chilli to liven things up. This dish was a hard act to follow, although I am informed the chicken wings were pretty special too, being juicy, spicy and smoky, though not greasy.
The avocado hommus was OK and the waiter was kind enough to get me a new one with good grace and without pine nuts even though I had forgotten to tell him of my allergy. At the end of the day though it was pretty much an average bowl of proper hommus, with the addition of avocado adding a greenish tint. I felt that the bread was a bit doughy, a flat bread might have worked better but I am nit picking. The sweet potatoes with paprika were also of a good quality but I was still thinking about the tomatoes. As if by magic though they turned up again on a halloumi skewer, this time as whole cherry tomatoes. Horray! It was a very tasty skewer. I certainly did not feel restricted as a Vegetarian in this restaurant.
We weren’t drinking booze today but I noticed they had Brewdog on the menu which is always a good sign. The fruit juices were good but costly. My husband, still smarting from the high prices, decided to stick to the water but this proved tricky, as it was provided in teeny tiny glasses that were infrequently topped up. I would have thought that we were trustworthy enough to be left in sole charge of a jug of water, but they must have suspected the mischief we were capable of.
Our waiter was well spoken, smart and professional and we wondered if he might have been a Stock Exchange boy who jacked it all in for a love of food. We felt in safe hands though could have had a bit more attention given that attendance was a little sparse. Other than the water this was only really an issue when, having asked for the bill and indeed having been given the bill we were left to consider it for a good ten minutes before being able to pay it, possibly to appreciate the font. To be fair, it was a nice font as bills go.
And yes I had to go to the toilet again, recreationally just because it was so nice.
So should you go to Tabure? Oh yes, you should and not just to be en-trend (sorry) or because of the heavenly tomatoes. But possibly you might want to go for dinner when you can give the experience as much time as the prices warrant. Although if they ever have a lunch menu and bigger glasses we would be back in a shot.