During my Foodie Weekend in London with Polly a few weeks ago, we decided to dine at Rabbit in Chelsea (the latest restaurant from the Gladwin brothers, who first opened The Shed in Notting Hill) on the Saturday night. Rabbit may be small, but it has bags of charm with it’s rustic decor. Although the seats weren’t the comfiest and our table was quite small (I thought I might knock my drinks off a few times!), it didn’t discourage from the enjoyable experience we had here and they fitted the style of the venue. It had such a cosy, welcoming atmosphere and it was easy to quickly relax here.
The service was great too! The waitresses were all so friendly, conversational and attentive throughout the night – little things like just topping up our water all night really made a difference. They also knew the menu inside out, and expressed a great knowledge and passion for all of the dishes and for the ingredients used within them.
To start, a cocktail off their inventive and original drinks menu. I went for Twinkle – Elderflower, Champagne, Lemon. Not my usual type of cocktail by any stretch but I really enjoyed this glass of bubbly, with the addition of elderflower and lemon making it light and refreshing.
The idea behind their menu is modern British food to be shared and enjoyed in a tapas style. They recommended ordering 5 or 6 plates between two people to share and as many ‘Mouthfuls’ as you want. So we started by ordering two mouthfuls each. Neither of us could resist the Brown Crab Bomb with Dulse Mayo; the crisp, crunchy coating encased a delicious crab centre, and I only wished we’d ordered more than one each of these. Whilst Polly ordered the Mushroom Marmite Eclair with Confit Egg Yolk, I went for the Endive with Goat’s Cheese, Medlar Jam, Hazelnut. The wonderful combination of flavours and textures, in particular the creamy goat’s cheese mousse with the crunchy endive, made for a really interesting and tasty bite to eat.
We decided to order 5 dishes to share, which came out as and when they were ready with a brief yet detailed description from our waitress of what we were about to tuck into. This meant that the wait between each dish was minimal and at times we were still finishing one as another arrived, as is the nature of tapas. I really liked that they did it this way as it made for a more informal, enjoyable meal and prompted lots of discussion over each dish as we both got to share the experience of eating them.
The first of our savoury dishes to arrive was the Dorset Crab withChilli, Garlic, Black Tagliatelle and Fennel. Although I wasn’t a fan of the fennel, the creamy sauce was really flavoursome with hints of chilli and garlic coming through. It was the perfect consistency too, coating and sticking to the tagliatelle, so when combined with the succulent crab, you got a tasty mouthful each time.
My favourite dish of the night came next, with the Tempura Duck Livers with Red Wine Lentils, Bacon Jam and Lovage. Every component was just fantastic, and the combination of them together made for a truly delicious, memorable dish of outstanding food.
The quality of the food was consistently good throughout, as the next dish of Ox Heart with Sweet Potato, BBQ Sauce and Wild Chevril proved. The crispy, fine strands of sweet potato made the dish light and were a perfect match for the meaty, tender pieces of ox heart.
I felt like our final two savoury dishes, of Venison with Swede, Truffle, Bone Marrow, Almonds and Reindeer Moss and Grilled Lamb with Onion Squash, Honey, Sunflower and Mint, were too similar in terms of presentation, components and taste. Made even more noticeable as they were the last two to come out. However, this doesn’t take away the fact that they were both excellent dishes! The venison was so rich and succulent, and each element of the dish complimented it whilst still allowing it to be the star of the dish.
I also loved how pink the lamb was, making it melt in the mouth tender. Whilst the onion squash puree was so smooth and sweet, and worked really well with the lamb.
We were both pretty full by this point, but we somehow found room for dessert and both ordered the Apple Pie with Caramel and Vanilla Ice Cream. After how exciting and beautifully presented the other dishes had been, I knew we wouldn’t be getting just a slice of apple pie thrown onto a plate with this one. I loved the innovative twist they had put on this, yet still managing to stay true to this classic dessert, with a whole apple encased in pastry which again had the ‘wow-factor’ the other dishes had too.
Our waitress poured some of the deliciously sweet, rich caramel sauce into the centre of the apple pie (we didn’t need to add any more as it was so sweet), which added to the sheer bliss and indulgence of this dessert. The pastry was fantastic – so crisp and light, with the addition of caramelised sugar adding a sweetness that complimented the soft, tangy apple but didn’t overwhelm it. Overall it was a fantastic, delicious and perfectly executed dessert that I’d love to eat again and again.
I was completely blown away by the fantastic food we had, and it was great to experience a different dining style that I’ve never had before. Combining a relaxed, informal atmosphere with high quality, fresh and flawless food, I really couldn’t recommend Rabbit enough.
Disclosure: We paid for our own food and drinks, and all opinions are honest and our own.