As soon as I walked into Rabbit, I knew I was going to like it…
Light flooded into a room that was decked out with stripped-wood tables, roughly painted brick walls and quirky details everywhere…
The overall look is a rustic barnyard feel that reflects the menu of wild and foraged ingredients much of which comes from the Gladwin brothers’ own farm and vineyard in West Sussex. The three brothers who co-own the restaurant were bought up on the farm and after school chose different paths; Gregory became a farmer, Oliver a chef and Richard chose to work in hospitality. Each bought a different skill to the table when founding their first restaurant, The Shed, the success of which led them to open Rabbit.
Some people find the current trend of sharing small plates rather an annoying one, but I love being able to try lots of different things. Fortunately, my friend Colleen was happy to share and as we have similar taste in food it was easy to make our decisions. We chose one of the ‘mouthfuls’ or £1.50 bites from the menu to try and the squid ink cracker with seaweed mayo was the perfect little nibble to begin with.
From the ‘cured’ section of the menu we opted for sweet cured cod with fennel, lime mayo and dill. An absolutely stunning plate of food, the fish was delicate and mildly cured – I think with beetroot but I didn’t ask. The fennel provided a satisfying crunch and the mayo, that necessary burst of citrus.
From the ‘fast cooking’ section we tried the carrot carpaccio which was simply a work of art on a plate and absolutely bursting with colour. Dressed with honey roast almonds, goats cheese curd and sorrel it was a perfect example of how beautifully the restaurant achieves the farm to fork concept. But while the food is rustic it’s still elegant and highly innovative… so much more than just rabbit food. Every ingredient is seasonal so they are only serving the best and freshest produce from the farm. There’s a huge emphasis on sustainability too and the brothers have a strict no waste policy.
The ‘hen in a bowl’ was not at all what I was expecting it was a very clever dish indeed. I think the yolk of the egg had been blown out and smoked and the white was filled with a delicious mushroom ketchup and fried. A very interesting dish and a totally delicious one. As you can see it’s a very veggie-friendly restaurant and vegetarians won’t be stuck with mushroom risotto or goats cheese and onion tart – the chef has created some incredible dishes using just vegetables.
Our final dish was definitely my favourite; rabbit loin with Jerusalem artichokes, smoked potatoes and delicious crunchy cauliflower. Now admittedly, had I been with Mr S he would have still been hungry especially as he considers vegetables to be a side dish. But Coleen and I are both petite and on the sunny April day a few light dishes were perfect but if you’re hungry you may want to order more. I’ve been told the lamb chips are incredible and I liked the sound of the rabbit tagliatelle.
I found the food at Rabbit unlike anything that I’d had before and totally loved the restaurant’s unique story and concept. And with food that is as tasty as it it vibrant and beautiful, I’d highly recommend a visit to this gorgeous Chelsea-based restaurant.
PIN FOR LATER:
172 Kings Road
020 375 00172
Our meal at Rabbit was complimentary