Rabbit

Restaurants , British Chelsea
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(14 user reviews)
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Rabbit (© Ming Tang-Evans)
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A spin-off of the popular 'wild' food Notting Hill eatery 'Shed', with a focus on nose-to-tail eating.

'Rabbit’, as Chas ’n’ Dave fans know, is Cockney rhyming slang for ‘talk’. And  customers of Rabbit, a new restaurant on the King’s Road, excel at talking – plus shouting, hooting with laughter and generally making a lot of noise. This is Chelsea, where some view town as a place to party and country where you go to recover at mum and dad’s. On our visit, some customers even gave high-fives to the Gladwin brothers, the chef-proprietors (who returned the overfamiliar Americanism). 

We’re not sure what real country folk will make of Rabbit’s jokey, ‘rustic’ interior, but as Oliver, Richard and Gregory Gladwin hail from West Sussex farmland themselves, we imagine they didn’t have trouble sourcing the tractor bonnet decorating the bar, the corrugated iron panelling, or the back end of a fox mounted on a wall. It feels more like a bar that does food, down to the ‘stable door’ entrance where smokers can linger outside. But to see it as a party venue does the cooking a disservice: the Gladwins – who also run The Shed in Notting Hill – can really cook.

The ‘small plates’ menu lets you try at least two or three per person. A ‘mouthful’ (appetiser) of ‘brown crab bomb, lemon dulse’ set the scene for cooking of great technical prowess, with a crisp shell containing the warm crustacean centre, held in place on the plate by a seashore-scented lemon mayonnaise. 

Rabbit ravioli was the best dish, meat tender, pasta al dente but glossed with bone marrow, lovage pesto and wild mushrooms. Foraged and wild ingredients feature prominently. Marshland salsify and sea-purslane leaves littered a fillet of hake, with a perfectly balanced sauce of cider, cockles and butter. Vegetables are used imaginatively: smoked Jerusalem artichoke was stir-fried with rainbow chard and served with spaghetti squash. We can’t comment on desserts: service was getting patchy as the evening wore on, and our orders never arrived. 

The Gladwins grew up at Nutbourne Vineyards, so the perfectly good Nutbourne wines are well-represented. We watched the staff decant the ‘Shed white’ from silver vacuum packs into rustic wine bottles for serving at the table, with one person holding the pack and the other ‘milking’ it. The effect was fittingly like being in the urban version of a cow shed.

 

Venue name: Rabbit
Contact:
Address: 172 King's Rd
London
SW3 4UP
Opening hours: Dinner served 6-11pm Tues; meals served 11am-11pm Wed-Sat
Transport: Tube: Sloane Square
Price: Meal for two with wine and service: around £90
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Average User Rating

3.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:6
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:2
LiveReviews|14
2 people listening
Steve B
1 of 1 found helpful

Very unpleasant experience eating here last week.  The four of us were crammed into a tiny space in uncomfortable chairs.  Service was criminally slow and when the food did arrive the minuscule portions did not justify the prices.


Tried the English wines which were overpriced and incredibly acidic.


Definitely one to give a miss, particularly when there are so many quality restaurants in the area. 

Lizzie W
Tastemaker

My bf booked Rabbit for a late lunch birthday treat on a Saturday.

On arrival we were surprised to see it wasn't packed however there were quite a few people and it had a good buzz.
Decor was really nice and our seats were comfy but there were some tables with metal stools which I could see could be uncomfy for a whole meal. 
The whole concept is about local produce and sharing dishes. Advised about 2/3 plates each for lunch. We decided to share everything and I think in the end ordered 6 plates along with a few mouthfuls.
To start with bf ordered a local Sussex beer (Sussex Gold which was delicious) and I had the cocktail of the day (rhubarb rumble which was also yum). We also ordered a few mouthfuls - both ordering the rabbit rillette and bf ordering marmite eclair. Both delicious and nice to nibble on before we had the main food. Now these really are mouthfuls so don't expect anything else but at only £1.50 a pop they are a definite must.
The food comes out as it is ready but we had it in a good order and also never had too much on our table.
First came their warm baked bread with butter and broadbean hummus dip, which was so refreshing with a hint of mint in it.
Next we had the asparagus salad which I didn't expect to be cold (not sure why) but was so delicious with the quails yolk and truffle butter.
Next came the warm dishes. We ordered pigs cheek (2 pieces), lamb chips which are more like deep fried lamb with a lovely tomato sauce & mushroom and truffle ravioli which was probably my fav. All were incredible! No complaints.
Also ordered a carafe of their house white, which was nice but averagely priced
By then we were very full however had to have pudding as it was a birthday!
We shared again and on waitresses recommendation went for the treacle tart and viennetta parfait. Bf preferred TT however I was so impressed with the viennetta which as the waitress said looks can be deceiving as it looked quite boring and plain but was so creamy with salted caramel running through it - Mmmm!
Would definitely come again
Friendly and helpful staff and great ambience

Annabel-Zoe
Tastemaker

I love the background of this restaurant…an offshoot of Notting Hill’s The Shed restaurant, Rabbit was created by a sibling trio, the Gladwin bros, who grew up on a farm in West Sussex. The ingredients are mostly foraged from their farm in Nutbourne, which makes for a seasonal menu of small plates.


Walking into Rabbit on King’s Road, it’s hard not to just stare at the walls and ceiling, purely for the random rustic décor – tractor door on the wall, tractor bonnet hanging from the ceiling, corrugated metal panels and an abundance of wooden fixtures that looked freshly lumberjacked. I was already enjoying my visit and I hadn’t even ordered!


We went for a selection of 4 dishes:


Bacon Jam Doughnut, Confit Egg (£7.50)


Brown Crab, Squid Ink Linguine, Tomatoes & Golden Garlic (£10)


Rye Bay Scallop, Three Cornered Garlic Butter (£6 per scallop)


Wood Pigeon, Rainbow Carrot Tarte Tartin, Mousseron Mushroom, wild Asparagus (£15)


Then the waitress recommended us to add the 48 Hour Proved Wild Yeast Bread served with Shallot Butter (£2.50) to soak up the scallop juices.

The dishes all looked beautiful and I really wanted to love each dish, but sadly, the scallop was the only saving grace of the whole lunch, seasoned and cooked well. The shallot butter, unfortunately lacked flavour, the doughnut was cold, overpowered by the intense bacon jam and rather heavy (I couldn’t appreciate the confit egg at all) and the linguine overall as a dish wasn’t very pleasant with the dressing 3completely masking the delicate crab flavours. Lastly, though the wood pigeon was cooked perfectly and went deliciously with the mushrooms, the rainbow carrot tarte tartin was burnt and tasted as though it had been already cooked once and was re-heated in the oven and served to us!


In conclusion, I spent over £50 with no alcohol for a lunch where I only really enjoyed one dish, disappointing.

Ladyvp
Tastemaker

This quirky small restaurant on the Kings Road boast serving fresh seasonal produce. The cooking style is very English and earthy. When I went there I opted for the tasting menu, which was delicious, even though way too much food. 


The food changes very frequently so me telling you I like a certain dish now, chances are it will not be on the menu by the time you go. The mushroom marmite eclaire were really good, so if it is on the menu when you go, give them a try. The desert was the weakest point of the meal, I cannot remember exactly what it was but it tasted like viennata's not so tasty cousin. Not a truimpth. 


All in all I would say to go, however be warned. It is another of these restaurants that serve "tapas style" dishes, which because each dish was tasty and different, it enabled you to try more things. Down side of the this type of eating is that the bill escalates very quickly as a result. Considering the coziness of the restaurant I do find it does end up over-priced and when the bill did come back you could eat at better places that allows for more room and comfort. 

jutney
Tastemaker

Really good and tasty food, and well presented too. The portion sizes (as sharing plates) are mostly right, but some of the options are quite tiny. The pan-fried goat’s cheese with hazelnuts, honey and thyme is marvelous, but you end up wishing you were not sharing with anyone else... The carrot hummus is also rather good and comes in a generous portion, but the ale crips to be dipped in it are so few you ended up with half hummus uneaten... 

Service could be better: it wasn’t crowded enough to justify the difficulty to get the attention of the waiters. And you wouldn’t really want to stay there that long; although the setting is quite interesting and pleasant, the chairs are very uncomfortable. 

Michael F

Thoroughly enjoyable experience had each time I have been and I consistently recommend Rabbit to friends and family looking for a restaurant. The portion sizes are the right size for the "Sharing Plate" experience.

Culina Sophia

The ethos behind the restaurant is creating interesting, innovative and tasty recipes using seasonal and fresh local produce.  The diner is reminded of this by the rustic outdoorsy interior, a bushy fox tail suspended above the open kitchen which brings you closer to nature whether you like it or not.  

I had been averse to goat’s cheese after I overdosed when I was seven – until Rabbit cured me with the beetroot crisp.  My dining companion was a marmite loather but it was incorporated so beautifully into the rich earthy truffleness of the éclair that he too overcame his dislike.

Still poring over the menu the couple at the adjacent table came to our aid, and very enthusiastically.  So enthusiastic, in fact, that they admitted to having worked their way through every dish and would happily do an encore.  They even donated the remainder of their butter with the instruction to slather it on whatever we could.  One we had paired it with the freshly baked wild yeast bread it we began to understand the couple’s eagerness to share the joy.  Freshly whipped, lightly salted and garlicky with finely chopped shallots.  Read more: http://www.culinasophia.com/2014/12/rabbit-restaurant-review/

Anon

Absolutely tiny portions. Good staff but extremely overpriced for what you actually get on your plate. Would not recommend.

Rogb

I guess whn you book a table for say 8 pm and when you turn up you are told it was booked/available at 8.15 when you have it sets the tone a bit. i don';t mind if the fact is that the table is still occupied provided you are told that in advance. However, it would be a nice touch if you were offered some nibbles to make up for it instead of just standing in a crowded passageway/entrance. An offer o look through the menus would also have been welcome as we sipped our wine.


Essentially the food ualit and variety is vey good, although there is an unnecessary  oversalting the dishes, something which we all agreed upon.


The restaurant is spartan, and, should really have fewer tables and better soundproofing as it is near impossible to hold a conversation. This segues into ordering as two items were wrong, and whilst the waitress endeaoured to explain the format from one end of a table for 4, at the other end it could not be heard clearly. I also agree with the previous review that the tables are really too small, and fewer tables/more comfort would pay for itself


It is a great concept in terms of traceable ingredients with good and inventive dishes but could do much better if they focus on the comfort of their clientele

Tatiana H

We entered enthused at the prospect of a chilled environment with great food in a room with decor of country meets soho house cool (the few taxidermy here and there were funny, especially the framed fox bum).

After waiting to order, we were told these were 'sharing' platters, so choose 2-3 per person. If we're sharing, the plates should be share-able, much to our disappointment when they brought the two 'main' dish rabbit ravioli.

Perhaps the experience would have been enjoyably, as the atmosphere itself certainly was, if the waiting time between meals had not been so extensive. I watched the three men in a small kitchen spooning sauces and such with such patience, I nearly got up to do it myself. Last time I waited so long between dishes was at The Suvretta House in St Moritz, and that is part of the performance of dinner time, not to mention you are seated in comfortable chairs in a grand hall.

Their food has an amazing ensemble of flavours and textures, but a few twitches need to be made here or there. Or perhaps I should avoid such small scale serving restaurants in future, being the old fashioned quality-with-some-quantity kind of eater.

Augustus G

My new favourite restaurant in London! Absolutely delicious food and I can't believe most of it comes from their own farm. On top of this, It has a great family atmosphere, it's not too expensive and has great wine.... I'll be a regular!