Rabbit: Hopping Joint on the King's Road
Casual reminder: This website is all about shining a light on the positive and best things kicking around in hospitality. Everything featured has the Very Kerri stamp of approval.
This is exactly why I have been hemming and hawing about even writing this post. Rabbit has been on the VK Graze List for ages. We rock up on a bitter Friday night and the place is hopping with well-groomed, floppy-haired Chelsea peeps. When it all boils down to it, food is first class but service is far from it. However, I'm giving Rabbit the benefit of the doubt and putting it down to a bad night for them.
It's the latest baby from the three bros behind The Shed in Notting Hill. They're the foraging, farming-mad sort of foodie family, hell, if I grew up on a vineyard, I wouldn't be far off. Anyway, The Shed is top dog, just a pity it's so far from home. Alas said brothers open Rabbit on the King's Road, a much more manageable Uber-ride home to say the least.
They're going for the rustic look; stripped back walls are adorned with bark and taxidermy. I'm down with rustic, but why not whack a few cushions on the wobbly cold iron stools lads? Not ideal when it's bloody freezing. Another thing, it all just seems a bit try hard; I'm just not buying into it in the same way as the Shed. Kilner jars on shelves and lingo like 'looseners' just aren't doing it for me. This is the sort of thing that you either have or not; The Dairy and the Manor have it, Rabbit doesn't.
A 'loosener' is essentially Rabbit's cocktail of the day, a crowd pleaser and more often then not, something I would drink far too fast. As Darty sips a ridiculously girly-looking drink, I guzzle Rabbit's Negronis like they're going out of fashion. This version is a genuine celebration of sensational brands; we're talking a Chase gin, Sacred vermouth and Kamm & Sons threesome. Saucy stuff.
'Mouthfuls' translate as canapés and at £1.50, they're a cracking start. That said, only one (fortunately a good one) can be made gluten free. It's all about the little pockets of endive with goat's cheese and nutty jammy yumminess. Darty chows down on crab doughnuts, or 'bombs' in Rabbit-speak.
Shout out to veggie dish of salsify, Chanterelles, thyme, walnuts and sorrel, which tastes like a leisurely walk in the woods. Stout smoked mackerel is sweetened up with Ironbark pumpkin and cranberries. There's no scrimping on the portion size either; a hearty small plate it has to be said.
Yet, service is haphazard. Dishes appear at such a pace that they can't fit on the table. Oh, and good luck getting a wine order in. Space cleared, we fit lamb on the table. Partners in crime like squash, sunflower seeds, honey and golden saxifrage give it a warm wintry fuzzy feeling. Veal with bone marrow, almonds, truffle and reindeer moss makes for an equally comforting feed. I need more reindeer moss malarkey in my life.
On the whole, there is a sweet nuttiness permeating throughout the menu, which I am a fan of. Look, Rabbit isn't exactly my next honey bunny, but I say, go there and give it a whirl as the food is ace. If you're after the real deal holyfield, get your ass down the road to The Tommy Tucker. That's where it's really at these days in the hood.
Five Very Kerri things about Rabbit
- Negronis with balls
- The food food food
- An actual farm to table situation going on
- Entertainment in terms of people-watching
- It's easier to get home from than the Shed