Restaurant review: White Rabbit, Daslton, N16

The lamb belly was a tender treat

The lamb belly was a tender treat - Credit: Archant

»Surprisingly the White Rabbit has been around for more than a year ­already, tucked away behind the chaos outside Dalston Kingsland station.

Spaetzle - a kind of German dumpling

Spaetzle - a kind of German dumpling - Credit: Archant

The team behind the laid back café/restaurant wanted to hone their product and entice the locals in before spreading their reach to London diners at large – and it’s worked, because N16 has a lovely little eatery on its hands here.

The laid back White Rabbit interior

The laid back White Rabbit interior - Credit: Archant

In typical Dalston fashion, the decor is a mixture of stripped walls and reinforced steel joists adorned with cushions, throws and stylish bric-a-brac.

It was bustling and vibey on our Saturday night visit, with an easy mixture of hipsters, dining couples and drinkers enjoying the excellent cocktails.

The menu, of a vaguely Mediterranean and north African bent, is a slightly confusing ‘‘small, medium and large’’ arrangement which always leaves you wondering how much to order.

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When they first opened they only offered sharing platters, though later revised this. But the best way to tackle the food here is order a few things and stick them in the middle of the table – a fun and sociable way to eat.

We picked several small plates; the thin cured strips of Iberico ham were peppery and scattered with almonds, while the creamy burrata, with a lemon rind kick, was delicious.

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From the mid-range dishes the lamb belly was wonderfully tender and garnished with a smooth miso baba ganoush, while the flaky hake came with a finger-licking paprika aioli; creamy and firey.

A special mention should go to the spaetzle – a kind of Germanic gnocchi – gorgeous little beasts, flavoured with a hint of truffle, which avoided the stodginess of their larger cousins.

Our big plates were also very good – the pink duck full of dusky flavour with some cheeky Szechuan peppering, while the onglet steak was cooked to perfection, succulent with a hint of charcoal and drenched in a rich, satisfying jus.

The White Rabbit is lovely in all sorts of ways and may have found a niche in Dalston.

It’s got the relaxed, groovy N16 vibe, but offers a slightly more refined and up-market meal than the many wonderful Turkish restaurants in the area.

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