Feature, Food, London

Rabbit Restaurant, Chelsea

November 21, 2014

A new it restaurant called Rabbit has recently hopped onto the Kings Road in Chelsea and already has a line of fans out of the restaurant’s stable door entrance. Rabbit is the latest creation from brothers Richard, Gregory and Oliver Gladwin, who source wines and produce for their various London restaurants from their family-farm and vineyard, Nutbourne, in West Sussex. If you like the Gladwin brothers’ hit restaurant The Shed in Notting Hill, then Rabbit’s complex ‘wild British food’ nose-to-tail menu should be next on your foodie hit list.

I take my hat off to Rabbit for going the extra mile to create a cosy Sussex in Chelsea vibe. The rustic wooden décor with colourful art, iron tractor seats and taxidermy fox tails really transports you away from the big smoke into the rural countryside. Leave your sky high stiletto heels and leather trousers at home – you will look the part in a winter Barbour, an oversized sweater and country wellies here!

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Rabbit’s menu keeps you on your toes by changing on a daily basis, as does the restaurant’s signature tipple, the Rabbit Daily Loosener (£9), which is created with seasonal changing ingredients. The menu is divided into ‘mouthfuls’, ‘slow cooking’ and ‘fast cooking’, and encourages tables to share; 2 to 3 dishes per person is recommended.

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We raised our glasses with a sophisticated Nutbourne Sussex Reserve (£6.50 per glass) and mulled over what to try from the menu. The fresh out of the oven warmed bread-rolls with dried shallot infused butter were welcomed. Don’t fret if you’re a vegetarian, as there are a large number of non-meaty dishes to choose from.

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After making big decisions with the menu, we bypassed the ‘mouthfuls’ portion of the menu and selected two starters. First up was the labneh with chorizo, crisp bread and kale (£7.5); it was so delicious I easily could have eaten a large bowl as a main dish. The chorizo base is perfectly complimented with the crispy kale. Highly recommended!

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We also sampled the hearty red grouse with wood sorrel, rosehip and heather blossom (£6), which was thoughtfully prepared and had great flavour.

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The real game changer dish on the menu for me was the lamb chips with lemon, parlsey and harrisa (£8), from the slow cooking portion of the menu. The warm seasoned lamb paired with a crunchy exterior and tangy dipping sauce is true genius. This dish is not to be missed!

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It seemed only right to order rabbit here, and there were so many variations of rabbit to choose from including: rabbit ravioli, rabbit stone bake, rabbit ragu and Spatchcock rabbit. Apparently rabbit is considered to be one of the most sustainable meats, as it can be consumed in its entirety – you learn something every day right? Remembering my pet bunny Buster from my teenage years, I let the boys dig in to the rabbit ravioli with bone marrow, pasta al dente, pesto sauce and hedgehog mushrooms (£9.5), which is apparently a show-stopper.

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Last but not least, we feasted on the wild mushroom ragu with black summer truffle, celeriac and sage oil (£11.50), which was another creation that was so good it was tough to share. This is the perfect comforting treat to warm you up on a chilly winter day.

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I’m rather ashamed to admit that we were too full to try any puddings or cheese – further reason to come back for more feasting on this foraged farm food. I visited Rabbit during lunchtime and the restaurant was packed, so it will interesting to see how different the atmosphere is in the evening.

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Overall, I found Rabbit’s concept refreshingly creative and fun. Chelsea’s new country bumpkin eatery has a delicious menu to choose from with prices that aren’t too ‘hare raising’ (pun intended). I’ve been rabbiting on about this place to all my friends and will definitely be back for more!

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