London is undeniably one of the top food capital in the world now. Today, we visited a hidden gem in Sloane Square called Rabbit. Rabbit was introduced to me 6 months ago by a chef friend. It is run by brothers Richard and Oliver Gladwin. At first, I was worried it was one of those hipster vegetarian places. But I was pleasantly surprised. The restaurant is small, cozy and full of innovations and surprises. I particularly enjoy their small open kitchen where you can watch how chefs work together - like clockwork - neat and efficient.
6 months later, I decided to go back to see how that. place evolved. On first glance at the menu, lots of items have changed - more seafood items and lighter flavours to suit this unreasonably hot UK summer. Rabbit's menu is divided into Mouthfuls, Nutbonurne Cures, Small Plates, and Desserts, and on their Roast Menu is available on Sunday. They emphasize on locally sourced ingredients but cook with innovative techniques and flavours. And all dishes are designed for sharing which is a great idea because you can really work through a good portion of their interesting menu without overpacking calories in your belly. It is a great place for group dining.
To start, we ordered a Twinkle which is a summer cocktail with elderflower, lemonade and champagne and a Negroni. We shared Smoked Cod Roe, Crisp Bread and Lemon, Maldon Oyster with Shallot Vinaigrette and Dill, 48 hours Proved Wild Yeast Bread with Whipped Shallot Butter and Forest Cured Pigeon, Gooseberry Chutney, Sunflower Seeds, Fennel Oil and Blackberry Jus.
Smoked Cod Roe was creamy, smooth but packed with rich flavour, so they add a little of lemon drop of top. It gave our meal a fresh start. Then came the Maldon Oyster with Shallot Vinaigrette and Dill. Maldon Oyster is smaller in size but very creamy and mild in taste. Unlike most of places they serve shallot and vinegar, the vinaigrette is mild so it doesn't cut the taste of oyster too harshly. And the little dill sauce on top added freshness to the dish. For all the oyster lover, this dish is definitely a do-not-miss. Their 48 hours Proved Wild Yeast Bread aka a slow proved sourdough is a new hit in London, but they smartly serve it with the whipped shallot butter. Sourdough is nicely proved and baked so there is a light sour flavour without being too pungent but the whipped butter although I don't taste shallot, it's light, fluffy and soft. It was like eating clouds with bread. Last to our starter was the Forest Cured Pigeon. Wild Pigeon is much stronger in flavour. However, curing method helps mellowing down the wild pigeon flavour and also add other flavours depends on the marinade. The one we had today carried a strong summer forest flavours combining wine, berries and chef's secret spices . It was served warm with the gooseberry chutney and the blackberry jus. The whole combination was rich on your palette with a dynamic taste profile yet light in texture. Great option for a warm summer afternoon.
Now to the main courses. We ordered their Sunday roast, which was roast beef, butter squash puree, potato and Yorkshire pudding, Beef Cigar and Lamb Fries. Beef Cigar with Tarragon Mayo and Lamb Fries with Sweet and Sour Harissa. They are both inspired by Moroccan traditional dishes. Beef Cigar basically is a giant deep fried shredded beef roll. They serve it with Tarragon Mayo which is also called Bernaise in French. Nothing can top a well made mayo which I really hope to see more restaurants make their own mayo then giving me a giant tub of white goo. The pickled rapeseed that they sprinkle on top of the dish got us tricked as we thought it was caviar at first. Then the little acidity came through balance out the richness of the beef cigar and we realised what it really was. Clever, ain't it! Lamb Fries was more like a lamb version of fish fingers. It coated in lemon seasoned bread crumb then deep fried. The Harissa sauce was sweet, sour and spicy! If you love heat and spices, this is not to miss! Finally we had the Sunday roast. Unlike most of the pub, their portion is a lot more reasonable. Instead of hat size Yorkshire pudding, big mountain of mash and roasted potatoes, their portion shows restrains and of good quality. The beef was roasted and rest to perfection, with the buttery butter squash and their full flavour gravy, every mouthful was a blessing. We had our mains with a bottle of 2016 Chinon which was chilled to the right temperature to round up all the flavours in our main.
At this point, we really stretched our stomach to the breaking point so we decided to skip dessert and go for a walk. But with the welcoming atmosphere, diversity of their menu and fantastic quality of produce and cooking can guarantee our return very soon.
Address: 172 King's Road, Chelsea, London SW3 4UP