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“Finally a decent restaurant at the heart of the Kings Road!” – this offbeat “organic, farm-to-table” sibling to Notting Hill’s Shed remains an unexpected hit in an area where brainless mediocrity is the prevailing norm. Despite a “cramped space” with “wonky tables and excruciatingly uncomfy seats designed to add to the rustic vibe” the style is “fun” and “there is real originality in many of the tapas-y dishes (even if they are expensive for their small size)”.
What is this “fun and original” sibling to Notting Hill’s Shed doing in the heart of the King’s Road? Its “innovative” British sharing plates can be a bit “microscopic”, but are “superbly executed” with “farm-fresh” flavours, and the “creative”, “barn-like” decor “works well in the crazy L-shaped space”.
On the former site of Choys (RIP), the people behind The Shed in Notting Hill bring this new nose-to-tail restaurant to the environs of Chelsea Old Town Hall.
Rabbit Restaurant Diner Reviews
"British Tapas - with 2-3 items per person. Portions were bigger that expected given some reviews we'd read but did vary depending on what you ate. The Chorizo starter was much better than expected (and helped fill you up). Sister restaurant to Shed in Notting Hill."
It was a little way into our lunch at Rabbit that it struck us whatâ€™s so odd about it. Here we were, waiting for lunch, with a good (if oblique) view of one of the prime stretches of the Kingâ€™s Road (between Waterstoneâ€™s and Waitrose).
In a decent restaurant.
Itâ€™s quite disorientating. Any fool knows you do not find acceptable restaurants on the Kingâ€™s Road. Off the Kingâ€™s Road, perhaps. On the Fulham Road, fine, or even the Old Brompton Road. But something about the socio-economics of SW3 has meant that the Kingâ€™s Road has never, within living memory, sustained a restaurant beyond the purely functional and some of those have been driven out by the mobile phone shops.
So who are these brave â€“ perhaps foolish â€“ restaurateurs? Step forward the Shed people. (The Shed, if you donâ€™t know, is the place that took over the site of The Ark â€“ a Kensington bistro in business since time immemorial â€“ a couple of years ago.) Imagine a Jack Wills shop as a restaurant, and you wonâ€™t be far off.
The formula here is essentially as seen in Kensington. There is the same home-made-rustic feel â€“ here feeling a bit more calculated, but just as noisy. The welcoming staff/young proprietors are all jeans and check shirtsâ€¦ but no Converse â€“ this is Chelsea, after all.
The food â€“ seasonal and local, in the sense that much of it comes from the proprietorsâ€™ Sussex farm â€“ is very much in the same vein as in Kensington, if perhaps a bit fancier. It comes in small (to medium) plates that are attractive to the eye, and never less than tasty, if not always, at the higher levels, offering the degree of complexity you might hope for at the prices.
For a first visit, then, we'd possibly suggest this place more for an early (or late) shopping lunch than a full-blown affair, as the total bill can escalate to a level which might feel a bit disproportionate. Stop by, though, for perhaps a (very satisfying) â€˜mouthfulâ€™ of Brown Crab Bomb, and a couple of venison â€˜stogiesâ€™ (think spring rolls), washed down with a glass of Sussex wine (truly â€˜de la maisonâ€™), and a most satisfactory visit is in prospect.
If you do decide to visit at prime time, though, we suspect youâ€™ll already need to book.
172 King’s Rd, London, SW3 4UP
Mon 6 pm - 11 pm, all day Tues-Sat, Sun 6 pm
Last orders: midnight, Mon 11 pm, Sun 6 pm