It’s taken me a while to visit Rabbit but I finally made it a couple of weeks ago. Rabbit is the second restaurant belonging to the Gladwin Brothers who also own The Shed in Notting Hill, which I feel I have to visit now if it’s anything as good as Rabbit – which I hear it is.
Stepping inside, you can see the rustic influence of the Gladwin Brothers’ West Sussex roots. And I can only imagine how amazing the food on their Nutbourne Farm is, judging from what I tried at Rabbit.
Before walking into Rabbit, I had no idea about its concept or its menu. In short, think very good British food served as small plates – tapas style. I only realised this when our starters had arrived. Kristen and I decided to share a couple of dishes. So of course when they arrived we realised that mouthfuls on the menu obviously meant mouthfuls – so we ordered another two. Still, given the richness of their flavours I was altogether impressed.
One of the mouthfuls we ordered was the mushroom marmite with confit egg yolk, which was amazing. When the dish had arrived, I had forgotten what we had ordered so the tasty punch had a wow factor.
For my main, I had the Nutbourne lamb with aubergine, courgette, peas and chickweed which was really good. Though the next time I visit I think I’ll also order a vegetarian dish as a side now that I understand the menu.
There were a few highlights to my first experience at Rabbit, one of which was definitely the sparkling wine which the Gladwin Brothers make themselves. I don’t think I have ever tasted sparkling wine this good. There’s a wonderful complexity to the flavour which leaves a lingering floral taste. It’s sublime. Smooth and just wonderful.
Rabbit’s desserts also get top marks. Kristen and I shared this pudding with a great array of textures as well as more richness in flavour. Unfortunately I can’t remember what it’s called and Rabbit’s seasonal menu has now moved on since my visit. But I promise it was really quite special and we devoured every single bit.
I guess when it comes to British food and especially countryside cooking, small plates aren’t the first thing that spring to mind. Common associations are normally Spanish or more recently Italian food (with Polpo’s popularity), so I feel quite naive when I look back at what we ordered – especially as there are so many other interesting-sounding dishes to try. But given Rabbit’s menu is based on fresh seasonal produce, I feel like this restaurant will continue to keep me on my toes even after my next visit.
Rabbit, 172 King’s Road, London SW3 4UP