Rabbit, King’s Road – London
British food is not something high on my “favourite foods” list, ok you have fish and chips, a roast dinner and maybe a comforting stodgy dessert covered in custard but not “British food” as a whole. Places like The Terrace on Holland Street has changed my perception of modern British cuisine and Rabbit on the King’s Road is another place which is changing my thoughts of the good ol’ stodgy British meal.
One Saturday morning wandering down the bustling King’s Road passing all the weekend shoppers trying to get their Christmas shopping before the big holiday – yes I know I have been very bad about posting recently I promise I’ll be better this year! After dodging loads of people I finally saw the “Rabbit” sign. The relief on my mum and auntie’s faces who probably didn’t expect it would be so busy on King’s Road, they quicken their pace to get in the door. I think that they were just happy to get a rest from the crowds and get something to eat.
The inside of the restaurant is rustic English, full of farming nick nacks all over the walls and ceilings with seating made out of unfinished wood sticking out of the wall. I felt like I was transported to a little gastropub in the middle of the countryside and not off a busy street in London. The amount of wood in the restaurant managed to create a bit of wood smell, including the wine racks made out of old reclaimed wood palettes which sat above our heads, a great little DIY inspiration if you have a lot of wine hanging around. Plus I love the subtle minty colour of the walls.
We were sat on one of these little tables in the entrance, however the restaurant does open up a little bit around the corner and has proper seating. If you’re worried about sitting on these little stools which does get a little uncomfortable after a while they do have proper seating. The “Rabbit” concept is simple, fresh food with a changing menu from season to season, highlighting the best of British produce in a different way.
We were advised by our server to order a few plates from each section of the menu to possibly share since we had never been to Rabbit before. We started with 2 mouthfuls which are canapé size which was a great little pre-curser for dinner. A little mushroom eclair and a little fish crisp, beautifully presented on a slate coloured platter. All washed down with the daily tipple which was a gin based cocktail in a glass wellington boot.
We also ordered some freshly made bread with salty butter, warm, fresh with butter on the side, I don’t eat bread that often unless it is freshly made – it was worth the indulgence.
Probably one of my favourite dishes was a fresh and vibrant cured trout dish which looked pretty as a picture complete with horseradish dressing and some caviar. It was fresh and tasty I could have eaten a whole big bowl of it.
The next dish was a pan fried piece of fish complete with samphire and caviar, the fish was perfectly cooked and the sauce was creamy and more-ish.
Swiftly followed by a medley of cauliflower complete with an almond pesto, crunchy and definitely not boring the flavour of creamy cauliflower was highlighted in a completely different way then I have ever had before.
After these dishes we couldn’t wait for the rest of things that we ordered, the salads especially were creative, different and totally delicious. Luckily for us we had another to come, a red cabbage salad with grapes and liver. I have never really liked grapes in a sort of raisin form since I was a child but since this salad I have rethought my love for them.
Finally we had to get a slow-cooked dished which was a slowly cooked beef ragu with home made pasta with a crispy crumb on top. The sauce was rich and more-ish but you definitely can’t have too much of it before feeling full. So the portion was probably right even though when it comes to the table you feel it looks a little small on such a large plate.
All the items we ordered were interesting twists on classic British ingredients and flavours. I was impressed by the what came to the table, also the order that things were served. The best thing about Rabbit is that the menu constantly changes to the seasonal ingredients which they can get their hands on. So now when you go there the whole menu would have changed even though the layout stays somewhat the same with mouthfuls, cured proteins, slow cooking and fast cooking items divided on the menu. I recommend to book yourself a table, go down there with a couple of friends and order everything that takes your fancy and share it as we did, or just pop down for a couple of mouthfuls and a drink. Trust me you’ll be surprised how satisfying this version of British food is, because to me British food is comforting and satisfying. You’ll wander back onto the King’s Road not feeling like you have to be rolled out like a jam role poly after being transported briefly out to the British countryside with a big smile on your face, perfect for a weekend in London when you can’t get away from the city.
Have you been to Rabbit? What to you is British food and what is your favourite dish? What do you feel about this new take on British cuisine? If you know anywhere else that is doing something similar let me know below.