I’m not exactly sure who Mabel is but I’ve decided I already like her. This brilliant new addition to Covent Garden’s culinary scene is a welcome breath of fresh air and somewhere I’d like to return to again and again.
Despite getting tangled up in the crowds of tourists in the area, I still love Covent Garden and am there frequently for meetings, dining, drinking, shopping and yoga (not necessarily in that order). New restaurants and bars pop up frequently here but few so good as the shiny new Mabel’s. It’s got atmosphere, character and above all great food.
Arriving on a Wednesday night for dinner, the restaurant, having only been opened three weeks, was roaring. Happy diners and drinkers sat side-by-side enjoying the good honest food and out-of-this-world cocktails that Mabel’s so kindly serves up.
The restaurant itself is lovely. It’s big but not so that it feels vast or unfriendly. Little staircases link the rooms together and each has a slightly different theme. In the back dining room where we were seated, antique paintings hung on the wall, sitting in ornate gold frames and a huge chandelier dangled majestically over the tables. It had a cute, vintage feel without being too kitsch. In the front bar, neon lit signs decorated the walls and people sat and socialised at tall tables.
Mabel’s serves up great, authentic, British food at reasonable prices. It’s open for brunch (hallelujah), lunch, dinner, drinks and dancing. In other words, it’s an all-rounder.
I began the meal, as I like to begin all meals, with a cocktail. The Gincello was my first choice; gin, limencello, lychee puree and prosecco were mixed and served over crushed ice in a tall glass. Heavenly. I could have drunk five of those but being a Wednesday, I restrained myself to just two.
To start with, I had a delicious duck egg mayo served with crostini and my partner had the peanut butter chicken skewers. It was a strong start to the meal.
My eye was immediately drawn to their Toastie sandwich menu and my love for cheese took over. I love that this menu is available for dinner, as what more could you want than mushrooms, blue cheese and salami stuffed between two pieces of bread and compressed until it’s one big melty, delicious mess. I had that with their thick-cut chips and a vodka raspberry cocktail – amazing. My partner went for the burger and for a brief moment, food FOMO took over –the huge, meaty patty was served with salty bacon, fresh lettuce, tomato and creamy cheese between a sweet brioche bun. It was an exceptional burger and I had more than one bite…the chips and slaw which accompanied our meal were also delicious.
Unfortunately dessert was just one calorific step too far and we couldn’t fit it in, but my gaze followed a plate containing a chunky brownie, as a waitress carried it across the restaurant to another lucky diner and I started to regret eating one too many of their crispy, salty chips.
Mabel’s gets a huge thumbs up from me. It’s great to have a fantastic new restaurant to add to my central London dining out roster and I can’t wait to try their brunch menu. Often in the over-saturated restaurant scene of the city, it’s hard to weed out those exceptional dining experiences but I can assure you Mabel’s is one of them and the crowds of Covent Garden seem to agree.