Friday, 30 October 2015

Four Hundred Rabbits

Not so long ago I featured Lorenzo, one of the oldest local restaurants, and today it's the turn of the very newest, Four Hundred Rabbits. Both establishments have pizza in common, but there the similarity ends.  With so much competition these days, a new restaurant has to stand out from the crowd, and with this latest addition to the Triangle, it starts with the name. Aztec folklore was the source, and perhaps the sauce, when the goddess of alcohol got it together with the god who discovered fermentation, and between them produced numerous offspring, known as the 400 rabbit gods, or Centzon Totochtin, who were said to be fond of partying and alcohol. Fermentation is the relevant bit, since the restaurant specialises in craft beers, and pizzas made with a sourdough base. The team behind the venture, are the same who run the hugely popular Lido Cafe in Brockwell Park. Owner, Daniel Edwards, who grew up in Croydon, and now lives in Tulse Hill, had always wanted to work in the restaurant business, and got his work experience at Carluccios, followed by a stint at The Palmerston on Lordship Lane. While the Lido Cafe is somewhat seasonal and weather dependent, set in a park, Daniel wanted the next venue to be somewhere on the high street, open all day, every day, come rain or shine, and where you could just walk in without booking.
You may be relieved to hear that rabbit doesn't appear anywhere on the menu, but plenty of other unusual ingredients do. Daniel and his partners decided that there was no point in simply doing the standard range of Italian pizzas which are available everywhere, so you are likely to find unusual toppings such as smoked pig's cheek, minced lamb, and cavolo nero. Much is supplied by British producers, and the aim is to be seasonal, and therefore, regularly changing. Alongside the pizza, craft beer is one of the restaurant's USPs, as is the gelato, from Gelupo in Soho, apparently the best anywhere! Like the beers, all the soft drinks are supplied by small companies rather than global brands. However, I was more interested in their wonderful Negroni cocktails, especially at the bargain price of £3.50.
After only a couple of months, there's already an incredible buzz about the place, and the excitement of those running it is matched by the fun, and bright interior, designed by Brixton based Studio Richardson, which has a simple hand-made aesthetic. I once overheard a passer-by dismissing it as looking like a student canteen, but I rather think that is the point.
So good luck to Daniel and his team, lead by restaurant manager, Rose Helliwell, and who knows, judging by how busy the place is, perhaps those rabbits will start breeding, with outposts appearing elsewhere.


The £3.50 Negroni

No soggy bottoms here!

Chef, Antonio

Owner, Daniel Edwards

Manager, Rose Helliwell

30-32 Westow Street
020 8771 6249

1 comment:

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