Lucy Self went hopping mad for Rabbit restaurant in Chelsea
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We’ve been wanting to incorporate the pun ‘rabbiting’ into a piece for a while and now we can because that is EXACTLY what everyone has been doing about new Kings Road restaurant, Rabbit.
From the team that introduced West London to shabby chic dining at their much- applauded restaurant The Shed, Rabbit doffs its hat to wild British ingredients. With a focus on sustainability and that thing Fergus Henderson always bangs on about – nose-to-tail cooking.
Keen on keeping things authentic, the Gladwin trio Richard, Oliver and Gregory stock the kitchen (not to mention wine cellar) with produce from their family farm and vineyard in West Sussex (Gregory); as well as running front of house (Richard) and manning the stoves (Oliver).
So it sounds good on paper. But does this translate into a good restaurant? A resounding yes.
We visited a few weeks back and enjoyed one of the best evenings we’ve had for a long time. Every detail – from the light-fittings fashioned out of pigs troughs to the astonishing selection of English wines which Richard gently insisted we try – is nigh on perfect.
Food wise, we would happily rabbit on (we’re making the most out of this pun) about everything, but, if pushed, we’d say the ravioli is the winner. Stuffed with soft flesh from the finest thumper, enriched with bone marrow and wrapped in a lovage pesto – it eloquently puts all of the restaurant’s intentions into one sublime signature dish.
Luckily the plates are small and there are plenty of them to choose from – so we’d also recommend the wild mushroom ragu with sits on a creamy mound of celeriac glammed up with truffle and sage oil. Then you might want to try the hake served with all the best bits of the sea (salsify, mussels, sea purslane, samphire) and a foamy cider butter. And add fresh crunch from a salad of finely sliced brussel sprouts, hazelnut and tangy cheddar and apple.
Don’t forget to grab a ‘mouthful’ of crab rolled into a deep-fried ‘bomb’ either or to end with all of the desserts (especially the beautiful slab of layered ice cream which reminded us of a grown up viennetta).
We could go on – the arrival gin cocktail served in a glass boot, the constant care and attention shown by the team, pretty much every other dish we tried on the menu. But instead we’ll indulge ourselves with one more pun for the road. Everyone thinking about booking a table at Rabbit should hop to it.
Rabbit restaurant 172 Kings Road, London SW3 4UP – Opens Autumn
For more information visit rabbit-restaurant.com