rabbit restaurant kings road

Rabbit Restaurant: hop this way for good food on Kings Road

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It promises to deliver ‘British wild food’ and while London’s Sloane Square isn’t known for being especially wild (except maybe in the sales), Rabbit Restaurant on the Kings Road fulfills its mission admirably.

Small on the outside but opening out into a light and airy dining space inside, Rabbit was founded by the three Gladwin brothers Richard, Oliver and Gregory, who had an idyllic childhood growing up on their parents’ farm in West Sussex – climbing trees, driving tractors and skinning rabbits.

rabbit restaurant kings road
A good start to a very enjoyable meal…

After such a field-to-table upbringing, it’s unsurprisingly that they all ended up doing something with food: Gregory has taken over the 450-acre family farm, breeding cows, pigs and sheep and running the Nutbourne Vineyard with his parents, while Oliver trained at Leiths cookery school and Richard managed restaurants in first New York and then Battersea.

After taking the decision to set up in business together while chatting on a ski lift, the brothers pooled savings to open The Shed restaurant in Notting Hill in 2012, opening Rabbit in September last year. Both are receiving excellent reviews and small wonder, as the food is fun, creative and above all, extremely tasty.

The menu changes daily, ensuring that food is fresh and varied, but is divided into sections starting with some fun-sounding ‘mouthfuls’ at £1.50 each. We had a selection of very tasty bite-sized portions, including endive, goats cheese and pear jam, rabbit rillette and brown crab bomb.

rabbit restaurant kings road
The first two ‘mouthfuls’ – mushroom eclair with confit egg yolk and brown crab
rabbit restaurant kings road
…and the second: endive with goats cheese and rabbit rillette

The mains looked as good as the starters, with Dorset crab and black tagliatelle; octopus, fennel and sea bass roe; lamb chips and harissa; hake with mussels and scallops with garlic and shallots. The crab and the mussels were my favourites –  sadly the scallops were a bit gritty – and while the lamb chips were tasty they were a little too heavy for my taste.

rabbit restaurant kings road
Hake, lemon potato vinagrette and mussels
rabbit restaurant kings road
Scallop, three-cornered garlic and shallots
rabbit restaurant kings road
Dorset crab, chilli, black tagliatelle and fennel – both looked and tasted great

The Nutty Brut sparkling wine from the family vineyard at Nutbourne was so delicious that we stuck to that during the meal, but I was pleased to see Arundel Brewery’s Sussex Ale on the menu too as well as a good range of well-thought out cocktails.

After all that food we could barely think about dessert but the magnum vienetta parfait from its sister restaurant The Shed seemed too intriguing to pass up. It was very nice, creamy and smooth, but I think I was expecting something more akin to the (far less classier) Wall’s Viennetta of my childhood.

Rabbit restaurant Kings Road
It’s vienetta, but posher…

 

Overall the service was relaxed, cheerful and friendly, and it made for a very pleasant lunchtime treat. The sense of fun and affinity with food sourcing even continued into the loos (see the wallpaper below). The Rabbit might be small but it is perfectly formed.

rabbit restaurant kings road

Rabbit Restaurant, 172 Kings Road, Chelsea SW3 4UP

020 3750 0172 and info@rabbit-restaurant.com

Open Monday 6-11pm, Tuesday to Saturday noon-midnight and Sunday 12-4pm

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Sarah Bridge

Sarah Bridge

Every review is personally researched and written by leisure expert Sarah Bridge who, when she is not writing about leisure for a national newspaper, spends her time seeking out the best leisure experiences, from city centre boutique hotels to country house estates, Michelin-starred dining to the newest openings.
Sarah Bridge
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