Rabbit Hole – Cocktail Concepts & Culinary Craze

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Tucked away at the basement level and hidden quietly beneath Elizabeth Street in Sydney’s CBD, be sure to spot a pair of white ears. Rabbit Hole Bar & Dining is the ideal venue for impressive cocktails and artistic style are on show with each dish. The owner and cocktail specialist Dough Laming genuinely seem passionate about what they do here. Twenty food bloggers was invited to an evening of ‘Cocktail Concepts & Culinary Craze’. We were all very lucky to indulge in this first class French cuisine that was crafted by the Executive Chef Jeremy Metivier.

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 Nice decorations happening here at Rabbit Hole.

We were all greeted with a glass of Remy Martin VSOP with pomme verte, elderflower, strawberries and apple served champagne style. Without hesitation, this was a highly prized flavour for the ladies as it contains a small perception of sweetness.

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 Getting started with Champagne.

Extremely clever way of dressing the poached oyster is using green apple foam and liquid nitrogen kiwi spheres with ‘Magdalene’s Marvel’ and hidden beneath yuzu jelly. The form and spheres give it a unique richness of taste and flavours can be fully appreciated with the jelly.

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 Poached oyster with green apple foam liquid nitrogen kiwi spheres

Not long after, guests were seated in adjoining dining room for a degustation menu. It was lovely catching up with some bloggers and meeting new friendly faces.

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 What will we be having tonight?

Doug Laming presented a molecular cocktail with yellow Chartreuse and Blanco tequila. He specifically focussed on a very ground breaking technique called caviar spherification. They literally look like caviar-shaped balls and are formed from liquid. This mini sized cocktail was pretty remarkable. You’d sparkle and ooze out joy if you saw this in person. Firstly, embrace the madness of the caviar shaped balls that’s infused with alcohol. Then you got to let the grilled lime, agave, jalapeno and coriander express themselves. Can you feel it?

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 Caviar spherification

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 Grilled lime, agave, jalapeno and coriander with Chartreuse and tequila.

With the incredible presentation of the cocktail came with an exquisite starter dish –scampi with bloody Mary emulsion, coriander and tomato cous cous. The fleshy tail reminded me of a lobster and is closer in both taste and texture. I was genuinely entertained by this dish because the coriander droplets was frozen when it arrived to our table and then slowly melted. Turning it into a nice sauce. For the crispy legs with ‘Ay Caramba’ I was so jittery because it was perfectly golden and had a nice crunch. The cous cous matched perfectly with the bloody Mary and scampi pieces as it introduced a whole new savoury flavour.

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 Scampi with bloody Mary emulsion, coriander and tomato cous cous

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 Them legs!

It’s the curiosity that makes me want to know more about the white chocolate ball. At first I thought it was sea urchin due to the looks of it. Excuse Me Waiter and I couldn’t put our finger on it with the flavour but it was familiar like lemon. When Doug told us that inside the white chocolate contained lemon curd and prawn, we were surprised. The flavour did seduce us and it was quite creamy.

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 White chocolate ball with lemon curd and prawn.

There’s a reason why Rabbit Hole Bar & Dining is talk of the town when it comes to their cocktails and I can finally see why. When Doug presented a theatrical liquid nitrogen mojito air as our palate Cleanser, all my emotions were mixed together. I think I have 50 million photos of him entertaining us on my camera. It’s more than you should have of your own stuffed toys.

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 A lot of liquid nitrogen for everyone.

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 Shaping the mojito air into balls.

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 Carefully finding the mojito balls.

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 Scooping the mojito airs to serve.

My gigantic mouth looked like it devoured an elephant in one bite with this mojito air. It was very refreshing as if I was like eating clouds mixed with marshmallow. The flavours are noticeable and spot on to the point you’d think you’re throwing a mojito party in your mouth.

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 Mojito Air

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 Nice and cloudy with a hint of marshmallow texture.

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 Couldn’t help but squeeze in another photo. 

For the most tender, juicy and succulent meat, the glazed pork belly with droplets of butter bean puree, sliced radish, pickled carrots and passionfruit with ‘The Rabbit Hole, White Negroni’ is a must have. Emotion flooded my heart when I slowed made a sharp cut to my piece of meat. The sweet flavour was ridiculously infectious along with the puree.

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  Glazed pork belly

I tried to save my passionfruit so I could properly get a selfie for it. It had passion alright and somehow the texture felt and tasted like rice paper. I think this could be the next healthy snack food for me.

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  Papper thin passionfruit

A trendy drink lately is the ‘Rabbit Hole redistilled bitter lemon gin’ with No. 3 Gin, Solerno blood orange served short on an ice sphere containing a lily. I had pleasure sipping this, though some people pointed out it was a tad strong for them but I manned up and still finished the whole thing. Who are we kidding, this cocktail is disguised for a female drink, but really it’s more suitable for the gents because it’s strong aroma of gin.

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 Rabbit Hole redistilled bitter lemon gin

You’re looking great there spherical gnocchi of mascarpone and savarin, black cardamom and mushroom consommé with ‘Rosemary’s got the Blues’. When I first came across this impeccable dish, I was utterly shocked at how well-presented the gnocchi looked. The comforting flavours and textures of the mushroom consommé is a real winner. This extra special cosy course reminded me of my mother’s homemade herbal soup. It has clean, deep flavour that’s dangerously addictive. I absolutely adore the gnocchi, it’s a very scientific kind of dish in my eyes because the outer layer is see-through.

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 Spherical gnocchi of mascarpone and savarin

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 It’s not your ordinary gnocchi.

As you slowly take your first bite of the gnocchi, be prepared for the creamy mascarpone and savarin to ooze out. Extravaganza!

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 Interesting gnocchi.

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 So does that mean you’re good to go?

You know what would be good? The Bowmore 12yr made with rosemary syrup, fresh pressed blueberries, apple and malic acid served cocktail style. It’s a great beautiful winter cocktail that’s a mix of something classic. A drink everyone will enjoy as it tastes and is a sophisticated beverage.

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 I call it the girly cocktail.

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What could this be?

I can’t explain to you, how much I love the way this fireball whisky made with ‘Rabbit Hole’ coffee liquor, vanilla and chocolate bitters served as a bitter foam inside gold edible glass was incredibly interesting. I’m sure those fancy ladies would thoroughly enjoy this dessert, not because it’s gold but the foam is amazingly smooth with that coffee kick.

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 Fireball whisky

Can someone babysit my full belly whilst I eat the toffee apple sugar sphere made with cinnamon foam, almond nougat and apple with ‘Wonka’s Wasted’. This has got to be the unhealthiest apple I’ve eaten this year. Nothing beats the crunch of this sphere on a crisp winter evening. The taste so much better than ordinary candy apple. When the waitress delivered 5 of these apples to our table, I honestly felt like Doug and Jeremy has tricked me to eat this delicious red candy apple. Luckily they’re not the wicked stepmother, nor am I Snow White.  How is it humanly possible to whip up twenty of these?

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 Definitely not Snow Whites apple.

It’s seriously one of my favourite candy pieces and it offers a truly unique sensational taste as well. To overcome the sweetness, keep dunking it with the crumbled nougat and apple pieces along with the foam. When no one was watching, I legitimately crammed everything into my mouth.

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 Look at that crack! 

You can really appreciate an excellent cocktail at the Rabbit Hole Bar & Dining. Beautifully presented dishes is heavily influenced by French cuisine and the quality of the food, tasted amazing. This unique venue is a favourite and I can’t wait to return for some crazy cocktails and desserts. The desserts seriously looks epic in person.

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Photos by Vanny Tang

Disclaimer: Nessy Eater attended as a guest to Rabbit Hole Online Influencer Dinner, thanks to Pendulum Communications.

Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own.

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22 thoughts on “Rabbit Hole – Cocktail Concepts & Culinary Craze

    Choc Chip Uru said:
    August 16, 2014 at 2:36 AM

    What an amazing dessert to try, this place definitely uses all the crazy culinary methods 😀
    Great post!

    Choc Chip Uru

      Nessy Eater responded:
      August 19, 2014 at 12:51 AM

      I am so overwhelmed Rabbit Hole has some pretty quirky cocktails that I absolutely love!

    gourmetgetaway said:
    August 16, 2014 at 7:21 PM

    What a culinary innovation! Great plating, too!

    Gourmet Getaways

      Nessy Eater responded:
      August 19, 2014 at 12:54 AM

      I love the plating too! I can’t wait to try other cocktails here and I heard their burger is pretty good.

    Michael @ I'm Still Hungry said:
    August 17, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    This place has some seriously nice food and even whackier drinks – though at quite the price! Worth it for some gastronomic theatre 🙂

      Nessy Eater responded:
      August 19, 2014 at 12:57 AM

      I quite enjoyed their cocktails and foods with a hint of exotic flavours. I went through the menu and I agree it’s quite the price, however who can pass by a quirky cocktail?

    Sherrie @ Crystal Noir said:
    August 17, 2014 at 10:03 AM

    So many cool things done with their cocktails and food! Am definitely wowed right now 😛

      Nessy Eater responded:
      August 19, 2014 at 1:00 AM

      OMG every dish and cocktail looked amazing! I really liked the toffee apple ❤

    Ramen Raff said:
    August 17, 2014 at 7:14 PM

    I still need to try the cocktails here! The whole science lab approach to em sounds amazing. I’ve only had the food here and it was amazing! Errmahgerd that pork belly!

      Nessy Eater responded:
      August 19, 2014 at 1:04 AM

      You must!!! Like no joke, you must. I’m so impressed with that caviar spherification. It’s so rare to see it being served as a cocktail. As for that pork belly, super juicy and delicious is all I can say.

    Helen | Grab Your Fork said:
    August 17, 2014 at 9:20 PM

    Some very intriguing dishes here! Would never have thought to combine white chocolate with lemon and prawn either!

      Nessy Eater responded:
      August 19, 2014 at 1:06 AM

      I thought I heard wrong when Doug told us about that white chocolate. I seriously thought it was sea urchin because the colour and texture was so accurate. I guess I now know how to make look-alike sea urchin 😛

    Shanshan Lam (@food_religion) said:
    August 17, 2014 at 10:03 PM

    I love this place! They have one of the coolest range of cocktails in Sydney – so fun to play with too

      Nessy Eater responded:
      August 19, 2014 at 1:08 AM

      Totes agree! I never come across a bar that has so many whacky cocktails. It’s not every day you get to have a mojito with some liquid nitrogen.

    Chris @ MAB vs Food said:
    August 17, 2014 at 10:31 PM

    Love Rabbit Hole. Great cocktail list and some innovative food. Doug is doing some crazy things with his science experiments / molecular gastronomy

      Nessy Eater responded:
      August 19, 2014 at 1:11 AM

      Oh definitely crazy cocktails! I am super interested to try many more of their cocktails and foods.

    Annie @ The Random Foodie said:
    August 18, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    so close to where i work but had no idea about their crazy cocktails. interesting looking dishes too

      Nessy Eater responded:
      August 19, 2014 at 1:14 AM

      Perfect timing for you to visit Annie! Definitely got to check out their cocktails.

    irene said:
    August 18, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    You always post some really intriguing places and dishes! And I’m really curios about that mojito air; looks fabulous!

      Nessy Eater responded:
      August 19, 2014 at 1:15 AM

      Ngaww thanks Irene. I guess I should take you out on a date, so you can try their cocktails 😛

    Amanda @ Gourmanda said:
    August 19, 2014 at 11:45 PM

    Oooh, I’ve been to Rabbit Hole a few times now, and have always been so super impressed with their cocktails and their food! They’re a real hidden gem I think, I’m surprised more people don’t know about it!

      Nessy Eater responded:
      August 20, 2014 at 12:41 AM

      You’re right Amanda, a hidden gem indeed! Not only does this place serve the best theatrical cocktails but desserts here are to die for.

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