Oh Red Rabbit, I was so excited to eat at your newly revamped restaurant. I loved Claudes, and I knew you were going for a different style of food, different price-point in the market and slightly different clientele, but I was still eager to see what you would serve.
There is no doubt from my blog, I love Asian food and all price-points of Asian food… but utter disappointment was what I experienced, sad to say.
When I eat at restaurants, apart from the quality of the food, my number one biggest turn off is the attitude of staff and particularly management – but I will come to this after describing the food experience…
First of all – the food is not bad. The price is on the very affordable side of the equation. However, I must say there was no cohesion to their menu, I found it a bit of a mis-mash, and not that well thought out.
We had the ‘7 spice tofu, black vinegar’ $11, which tasted more like 5 spice powder. This was competently done. The ‘Tamarind Glazed Wings’ $12 and ‘Mushroom Medley, Chilli, Garlic’ $15 was also cooked well and very tasty. The latter two were a bit on the salty side and either need some rice or beer/beverage to wash it down (which perhaps is Red Rabbit’s new target market – ‘youth who drink copious amounts and spend big on alcohol’).
We also had the ‘Salt and Pepper Baby Octopus’ $18 – which I have to say resembled nothing of ‘salt and pepper’ and instead would have been better named ‘Asian Baby Octopus Salad’. To be fair the Octopus was very tender, but nothing about this dish made me want to eat it again. Everything was wet and there was no contrast or exciting element or texture to this dish.
Next was the Duck Pancake – and whilst I agree with Tim Owen that if Red Rabbit sold Duck Pancakes (that were any good) there would be lines out the door. I think that Red Rabbit’s ‘new’ version of Duck Pancakes $22, with tzatziki sauce, a cucumber piece and spring onions with the roots rather depressed, with each mouthful, rather then impressed me.
The Lamb Curry was next, this was indeed a tad watery, the lamb had a very strong lamb taste to it, although the meat was quite tender, and it lacked salt for something that was to be eaten with rice. Especially when compared with the Mushroom Medley and Tamarind Glazed Wings.
The ‘Orange, Pepper Beef Chow Mein’ was the last dish we ate. At $18, I wasn’t impressed. I found the citrus too much and honestly give me the Chow Mein at Flemington: Pho Toan Thang , Eastwood: BBQ One or Burwood : Canton Noodle house at half the price any day!
We were going to order dessert, but didn’t end up giving it a go, as honestly the ambience and acoustics of Red Rabbit’s second floor is gob-smackingly terrible. If I could give negative points for ambience I would… I have been to live rock concerts and dance parties quieter than this restaurant. I heard many other diners complain and comment that the food and service of the waitress staff were good, but not good enough for them to endure having to SHOUT at each other during dinner. And when I mean shout, I actually mean shout.
I was highly appalled.
More so, when Celia (the lovely waitress upstairs) was told by many-a-customer regarding the noise. She said she completely understood, but advised it was better coming from customers directly to the owner (as Celia relaying customer feedback to management was clearly falling on deaf ears). However I think Celia wasn’t the only one being dismissed. I patiently waited to speak for a moment with the owner Phillip Haw, only to be greeted with a flippant and snobbish attitude and told that the noise is what I should expect from large crowds.
Some level of noise yes, but if I actually shout, and it is not a blimp on the radar compared to the noise level of the whole joint, there is a serious problem.
Red Rabbit, yes you have some lovely wait staff – namely Celia and Abigail Meinke, but you have horrific noise levels and room acoustics upstairs, terrible management attitude towards patrons and food that is frankly not worth my while coming back for.
Sorry you have completely disappointed.
value for money: 6/10
service: 7/10 (of wait staff)
overall score: 19/40