A huge fan of Texture, I was keen to sample the delights of Oskar's Bar at Dabbous - I was almost the first in when the doors opened, and I have been going back ever since... so after more than a couple of visits, it was time to write the review!
The space, a corner site just behind Goodge Street and in an area attracting more venues by the day, is all concrete and scaffolding. Dabbous, a charming restaurant, can be found upstairs, opening from the industrial metal front door to single light bulbs hanging from iron bars, a small kitchen functioning behind a glass screen and not a white table cloth in sight. The decorative theme continues down the fire escape-style stairs into Oskar's, with a sleek wooden bar serving a room with a mix of benches round walls and long wooden tables and chairs, all with a hint of 60s design in their curves and design. Candles are everywhere so you may need your phone to read the menu, and refreshing your make-up in the bathrooms is nigh on impossible.
The Atmosphere & Clientele:
The music is more mainstream than I would have thought considering the cutting edge design, although this certainly adds to the unpretentious ambience that consumes the venue. I got the impression that Oskar's is still something of a hidden gem in NOHO - at no point did the bar seem overly busy; in spite of this, the venue managed to retain it's cool buzz.
The Food & Drink:
Four pages of cocktails cover everything from Martinis to long classics and even beer cocktails (which I would highly recommend), most of which come in at a happily affordable £8. Having personally tried about seven of their boozy wonders, I can safely say that it is very difficult to go wrong; these guys really know what they are doing and even the extremely friendly waiting staff know the menu back to front. There is a good selection of beers, wines and very tasty bar snacks as well as the option to order something from the restaurant if they are not too busy upstairs.
Perhaps it is going to take a while for people to start diverting from Soho, perhaps it will take more investment in the area, or a later license or indeed people knowing that this hidden gem basement bar exists. In the meantime I will revel in the my knowledge of this Oskar's Bar at Dabbous and enjoy an extraordinarily good cocktail without worrying (too much) about securing a table.