I love The Shed in Notting Hill and have a major addiction to their homemade salted caramel Viennetta. So I was elated to hear they had opened a second restaurant, similar in style, on the King’s Road. Rabbit was full to the brim when I went along on Monday evening to meet a friend. The cosy venue has a rustic farmhouse feel to it with shabby chic tables and chairs.
The crowd here is inevitably ‘very Chelsea’, so much so that I think I even spotted a Made in Chelsea cast member as I was leaving. The tight fit tables mean the restaurant is raucous and alive with the sound of friends catching up on the latest gossip. We were quieter on our table, dissecting the delicious plates of food, and debating at length over which desserts to choose.
The idea of a successful family business gives me a warm fuzzy feeling and the Gladwin brothers have got it right on every level. Between the three of them they have extensive experience in the hospitality industry, farming and cooking. And to top that, their mum makes wine on their family vineyard. Much like The Shed, Rabbit champions the British tapas trend. Offering all day dining, cooking up the finest foraged and farmed ingredients, and arranging the food artfully on the plate.
When it comes to the main affair, the staff recommend two or three plates per person. Whatever you do, order the Chorizo, labneh, crisp bread and kale, we scraped up every mouthful of the salty, yoghurty, crunchy delight. The oily residue is so delicious you’ll need some Rabbit wild yeast bread (with shallot butter) to mop up the remnants. Sussex Rabbit Tagliatelli is a comforting plate of lovingly made pasta coated in a rich, almost stew-like lovage pesto with bone marrow and chanterelles. For a lighter option try Grilled leek with cobnuts, honey, dandelion, wood sorrel and yoghurt – a sophisticated dish of buttery leeks scattered with alarmingly black crumbs.
The same Viennetta makes an appearance at Rabbit though still magnificent I found it a little too sweet… I wonder if I am growing up? Chocolate bourbon biscuit with cep and white chocolate is interesting too, and if you have never tried cocoa and mushroom together, I’d recommend giving it a go.
Although the environment doesn’t feel quite as jolly and organic as at The Shed, there’s no doubt that the cooking is of the same calibre. I hope the Sloanie locals will appreciate the thoughtful and innovative food on offer rather than just using Rabbit as a drinking den.
More information and book here: www.rabbit-restaurant.com