Introducing Rabbit de Niro and a New Seasonal Menu at Riverine Rabbit
I’ve always been a fan of Ash Heeger’s style of food. It’s gutsy yet refined and plays to my love of classics with a rich and decadent edge. Having dined at the restaurant from its inception, it’s been interesting to follow the evolvement of her menus and style.
Seasonal Menu at Riverine Rabbit
Ash has recently launched a seasonal menu at Riverine Rabbit for the autumn/winter period, keeping the same concept of contemporary urban fine dining with some bold new dishes.
The menu is divided into three options, the tasting menu (7- courses), a reduced tasting menu (5-courses) and a 3-course menu.
My suggestion is that you forgo brekkie and lunch and save all your space and calories for the full monty, which gives you a taste of a spectrum of dishes.
Your Host, Rabbit de Niro
If you’re celebrating a special occasion, or just want to have a unique experience, I suggest booking the chef’s table, which gives you a view into the inner workings of the kitchen and personal interaction with Ash and her team.
Your host for the evening will be the rather come-hither, Rabbit de Niro, a sculpture that is the latest member of the Riverine team. He’ll be keeping an eye on you through your dinner from his spot languishing on the chef’s table.
What’s new on The Menu
When the menu says ‘snacks’ your expectation is not to receive three dishes, each meticulous and delicious in their own right, but that is what you’ll get. Crispy chicken skin (an Ash must-have), the silkiest onion velouté held in an eggshell and curried pulled lamb on rice paper. Designed to whet your appetite, they do just as they say, while also visually getting you excited for what’s to come.
Oh, and even before that delightful trio arrives, bread with whipped butter, hummus and the most delicious baba ganoush that you’ve ever tasted. The kind of thing you literally eat out of the bowl with a spoon when the bread is finished. I speak from experience.
Sharing is Caring
Ash’s food is beautiful but most importantly, flavour driven. There is a mature balance of dishes that are clean and fresh with others that are rich and indulgent.
From the cold soba noodle dish with dashi with ridiculous amounts of flavour, to the cured beef with XO sauce and grated egg yolk, the detail is evident and flavour is priority. My partner and I were halving our dishes to share and taste everything; sometimes it was a struggle to let go of what we were eating to switch for the next dish but honestly, there was never a moment of disappointment.
The rebirth of Tom Yum
There were a lot of memorable dishes on the new seasonal menu at Riverine Rabbit but one of the ones that I really loved was the croquette. It brings in Ash’s Tom Yum sauce, which, whether intentional or not, has become a signature flavour of hers. A previous version of this dish was the Tom Yum mussels and there was a near riot when they were removed from the menu.
The crunchy sustainable line-fish croquette served in Tom Yum sauce, was tucked into with glee. A crispy piece of ice plant on top was the clincher. The deep frying somehow makes it look like it is covered in dew, but the crunch it adds is a surprise. A beautiful looking and tasting dish.
Another dish that we literally geeked out over was the risotto. Made not with Arborio, but with riced celeriac and potato in a velvety truffle-infused sauce. On the wine-paired menu, this dish is served with a glass of Luddite Saboteur White, a stunning blend – the dish and pairing were a triumph together.
If you’re a fan of wine, I really suggest doing the paired menu option, you’ll get to experience a number of amazing boutique wines as you progress.
Flavour Flavour Flavour
There were so many dishes along the way that we also loved; the fresh clean flavours of the ceviche and the hero-ing of the humble sweet potato with ash, miso and dukkah. Each dish seemed to elevate from the previous.
Ending off with the Winter Pudding stone fruit dessert with vanilla and coconut and the Milk and Honey dish, left us full to the gills and in awe of yet another truly memorable dining experience.
Book your Table
The current Riverine Rabbit menu is going to be available until spring (with some possible minor tweaks… get your picket boards ready if that Tom Yum croquette disappears). The restaurant is closed Tuesdays throughout winter and there will be a period when it is completely closed (from 23rd June – 16th July) for a break. The restaurant will open for dinner again on the 17th of July.
Telephonic Reservations: 021 4247204 | Email Reservations
81 Church Street, Cape Town
Hungry for more? Subscribe to our Newsletter