Alex: When myself and fellow FFSaker Vanessa entered Rabbit Hole, and knowingly walked down those spiral steps, we were immediately propelled from the ‘hustle and bustle’ of the city streets and placed in an enchanting and captivating environment of molecular mixology, fine dining and…well a really snazzy bar set up!
Rabbit Hole Bar and Dining is located underground on Elizabeth Street. The look and feel of the establishment is very much intimate and warm with a great inspiration stemming from make believe, fairy tales and so forth. The evening was an intimate sit-down dinner hosted by owner Doug Laming, where us and fellow food bloggers indulged in first class French cuisine, crafted by Executive Chef Jeremy Metivier.
As we were taken to the back bar for Rabbit Hole’s first ever Cocktail Concepts & Culinary Craze we began, what would be a night of creative affairs! First up was the Champagne Style Cocktail with Remy Martin VSOP, pommel verte, elderflower, strawberries & apple. An indulgent drink that was light with a refreshing kick from the strawberries and apple.
This was paired with an eccentric take on Poached Oysters with Yuzu jelly, green apple foam & liquid nitrogen kiwi spheres w/ ‘Magdalene’s Marvel’. Oysters are not my thing so I let Vanessa take the reign for this one! As she struggled to get it into her mouth but eventually eating it, she looked puzzled. An interesting array of flavours, but the foam texture is what she didn’t particularly like, perhaps because she wasn’t use to it.
After a few minutes, and chatting with some familiar faces we were taken into a beautiful dining room to begin our degustation menu. It really was decked out like something out of a twisted fairy tale, it was great!
The second dish that we were presented with was the Scampi with bloody mary emulsion, coriander and tomato cous cous & crispy legs w/ ‘Ay Coramba’ Again, like the oysters, not something I would personally go out of my way to order or try, but I’m glad I did. The scampi had a beautifully sweet and delicate flavour that played well with the cous cous. The crunchy head and legs of the scampi were so full of flavour I actually just wanted to eat a bunch of them on their own, that’s how good they were! A very clever dish. The Bloody Mary emulsion though was a very odd flavour and left a few of us at the table inadvertently puzzled.
Never before have I seen a cocktail like the Yellow Chartreuse, blanco tequila, grilled lime, agave, jalapeño & coriander served spherified. This was served with the scampi and was taken like a shot and you also had to bite into the lime as you took it, it was all fun and games! Each little sphere was packed with a kick.
Up next was the really fun ‘theatrical’ part. Owner, Doug played with some liquid nitrogen and created liquid nitrogen mojito air. Everyone gathered around and watched in awe as he was doing it. It truly was great fun so props to Doug!
The texture was rock hard until it reached your mouth and became an almost fluffy texture. While it was all fun, I was glad that the actual flavour of the mojito was really very prominent.
After a quick palate cleanser we were brought the Glazed pork belly, butter bean puree, radish, pickled carrots & passionfruit w/ ‘The Rabbit Hole, White Negroni’ Definitely a stand still moment as it was brought out, the presentation was beyond my expectations and truly magnificent. There were so many different elements on the plate, myself and Ness couldn’t wait to tuck in! The pork flavour was fantastic, really succulent and worked well with all the other elements but I felt as though it lacked contrasting textures like a crackling. The butter bean puree, left me gobsmacked. That was the best I’ve ever eaten. It was delicious! Although I was upset there was no texture with that pork it was still a fantastic dish that I would definitely order again.
The pork was paired with this beautiful drink, the ‘Rabbit Hole redistilled bitter lemon gin’, No. 3 Gin, Solerno blood orange served short on an ice sphere containing a lily. The drink was definitely very strong, some were unable to even drink it, but once the sphere slowly melted it obviously became a lot more easier to drink. (Clearly they didn’t get us drunk early enough!).
Our last savoury dish for the night was the Spherical gnocchi of mascarpone and savarin, black cardamom and mushroom consommé w/ ‘Rosemary’s got the Blues’ For some this was the favourite of the night, personally, not being a fan of mushrooms didn’t agree but in saying that it was a pretty fantastic dish. The gnocchi was deliciously creamy and paired so well with the crunch of the asparagus. A genius dish and a great way to end the savoury portion of the night.
The Bowmore 12yr, rosemary syrup, fresh pressed blueberries, apple & malice acid served cocktail style had a bit of an unusual flavour at first but once you had a bite of the gnocchi then had a sip it was evident how well they went together
And now for my favourite part of the night! When these baby’s were brought to the table again everyone sort of stopped and looked in amazement at the piece of art that was in front of us, seriously, I have not seen food presented like this in a long time. The Toffee apple sugar sphere, cinnamon foam, almond nougat & apple w/ ‘Wonka’s Wasted’ was a fantastic way to end the night. The dish itself was hearty, creative, and inspiring. The flavours were all working harmoniously as I continued to smash, crack and scoop, it was like eating a home-made apple pie or apple crumble. I think I was the only one on the table that ate the whole thing! Rabbit Hole has truly raised the bar on fine dining in Sydney and definitely kept up to its reputation.
The Fireball whisky, ‘Rabbit Hole’ coffee liquor, vanilla & chocolate bitters served as a bitter foam inside edible glass was a lot of fun, everyone didn’t really know how to react but alas we (or I) started biting into the rich toffee cup, sweet but tasty. The foam was a hit and miss for me. I love everything about what was in it but I think the foam made me feel a bit too sickly after a while so I couldn’t finish it!
You left me speechless Rabbit Hole. Myself and Vanessa felt as though we had just left a Heston Blumenthal show, it was great fun. I’ll be back! I’ve got my eye on the burger and that Chocolate skull!
Until next time!