We came down to Slabs shortly after it opened, so this review, which I thought was lost had just been lurking under all the other meals I had eaten since. When we walked in service started off a bit shaky, literally our waiters hands were shaking with nerves. Very friendly he was though, and i’m sure it must be scary – the first days of a restaurant opening. Luckily, another of the waiters was very keen to show off the cocktail making skills and provided us all with a coffee martini – it was sublime. Boasting a whole shot of coffee, you would never have realised, balanced out by the lashings of alcohol, very tasty indeed.
To start with I couldn’t help to order a portion of the maize fed chicken winglets, dosed in a sweet sticky sauce, with a side of sea salt, lime wedge and salad. The wings were succulent and tender while the sauce needed a little work still and could have done with some hot spice. The lime proved useless but the sea salt was surprisingly moorish, dipping my wings in to it.
Chicken burger was first to go under the taste test. Well seasoned chicken, which was unfortunately overcooked ever so slightly. Complemented by beef tomato, rocket and onion and what I think was a smothering of mustard mayo – but don’t quote me on that. The bun was good and had a lovely glaze, but overall the chicken burger was a little on the dry side – making a good grilled chicken burger, as opposed to a deep fried one, is harder than it looks. The coleslaw was creamy and fresh, but lacked some vital seasoning.
The beef burger, which is a meaty 6oz homemade prime beef, with tomato, lettuce and onion relish was again, overcooked and underseasoned but the meat had lots of flavour – it just didn’t have enough to warrant a lack of salt and pepper. The fries were cooked well, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside which were nicely seasoned. For lunch it was enjoyable – but it certainly didn’t impress, especially considering the competition in the area .
The rib eye steak slab, with an option to surf was medium cooked, tender and a very tasty piece of meat, grilled to perfection boasting charred and smoky flavours. The fries were the same as before, while the peppercorn sauce we opted for needed much more flavour than it was giving. If that ribeye just had a little more tenderness and sauce more intense, it would’ve made the dish all that more attractive – The Ginger Pig is only round the corner, who sell some of the best steaks in London, my own opinion of course (and Hawksmoors).
The best dish of our meal was the pork belly, with a bubble and squeak rosti, wilted spinach and some mustard gravy. The pork belly had a lot of flavour, very meaty – not too much fat and extremely crispy crackling. The rosti had a nice grilled crust, well seasoned and simply delicious. The gravy was also very good, lots of mustard and very thick. This is definitely, and should become Slabs flagship dish, so lets hope it stays on the menu. We ordered some Sauvignon Blanc to go with our meal, which may not have been the perfect match – but it also wasn’t very good, and with quality wine so widely available at low prices these days, there really is no excuse.
We ended the meal on a high with an outstanding take on eton mess. A tall glass piled with little pockets of meringue, fluffy, full flavoured cream and incredibly fresh fruit – I would even go as far and saying it is one of the best versions I have ever had. A simple dessert which they have mastered. Slabs was an enjoyable experience and moderately priced. I’m not quite sure I would come back for a burger, but for everything else – yes. All they need next is some chairs, perched against their bar for me to become a regular cocktail slammer after work – forget Jagermeister.