I woke up yesterday giddy with excitement about going to watch the new Cirque du Soleil show, Totem. I’ve had the privilege of having seen three other Cirques before – Varekai (HOT HOT TWINS!), O (for OMG amazeballs!) and Quidam. Alas, after all the anticipation, I thought Totem was a little underwhelming. Slow and intense and far too artsy even for a Cirque.

Well. Thank god the evening was saved with a pre-show dinner at Racine Restaurant.

I’d heard plenty of brilliant things about Racine before; the most memorable being that Tom, founder of my favourite burger joint, Byron, rates it as one of his most favourite restaurants. Sold. We booked in for 6pm and settled into the austere but friendly atmosphere and hoped for a good quick dinner.

Good it was not. Brilliant it was.

Opting for a la carte (though Racine does offer an amazing set menu at £17.50 for 3 courses), the choices were astounding and everything sounded delectable. Between the four of us, we managed to order all different starters, an amazing feat compared to mains where three of us were mesmerised by the allure of grilled rabbit.

From what I gathered around the table, everyone loved the food and as for me? I had the warm garlic & saffron mousse with mussels for my starter and honestly, it’s one of the best dishes I’ve ever consumed

warm garlic & saffron mousse with mussels

The mousse was light as air, infused with buttery flavours of garlic and saffron, and reminded me so much of the mussel & clam broth from Blueprint Cafe, which I loved.

Other starters looked amazing too, the wild mushrooms & duck egg, huge ballotine of foie gras served with toasted brioche and of course the steak tartare, seasoned to perfection.

wild mushrooms on toast, warm duck egg, red wine sauce

ballotine of foie gras, plum jelly, warm brioche

steak tartare

When it came to mains, I didn’t hesitate to choose the grilled rabbit, having thoroughly enjoyed the rabbit at (the no longer open) Eastside Inn. The rabbit was tender and accompanied by a delicious mustard sauce which added a nice little kick. There was also smoked bacon which was probably unnecessary but hey, it’s bacon. I’m not complaining.

grilled rabbit, mustard sauce, smoked bacon

Panu went renegade and had the venison which apparently melted in his mouth. It sure looks awesome, no?

haunch of venison, sauce Grand Veneur & braised Tarbais beans

We were pushed for time for dessert but ordered the special of the day anyway, a selection of rhubarb inspired puddings. Sadly, it all took too long to come out and we had to dash, but the house so kindly removed it from our bill and apologised sincerely.

It’s ok, don’t stress. I ended up having a tub of Häagen Dazs strawberries & cream ice cream at the show which was pretty darn awesome, so I didn’t miss out on my compulsory dessert 😉

Anyway, I loved Racine, though our meal was quick, and am already planning my return to indulge at my own leisure!

Racine Restaurant
239 Brompton Road,
Knightsbridge, SW3 2EP
0207 584 4477

Racine on Urbanspoon

16 Thoughts on “a quick dinner at Racine Restaurant – I’ll be back!

  1. What a fabulous looking meal! I love rabbit too, and it is SO hard to find in NYC!

  2. Linda at Pink Elephants coffee,LLC on January 23, 2011 at 1:19 pm said:

    Rabbit is so,…so… gamey. The best I ever had was barbequed with a sweet glaze
    and served up with a mustard. No ‘gamey” could be tasted. Well, it didn’t hurt to
    have a bit of bourbon and water before dinner. Hubby tells me that if you eat
    jackrabbit and nothing else, you will starve to death because the wild rabbit has
    no nutritional value whatsoever. Not even protein. Have you ever heard that?
    That mousse and mussels looks yummy.

  3. I sent my parents to Racine on Friday night and they loved it. I should have gone with them…

  4. It’s on the list! This has clinched it! Love the look of that tartare….

  5. I’ve read a few good reviews for Racine lately – I really want to go!

  6. I keep hearing good things about Racine too! I feel in good company there. It’s just I almost never go to Knightsbridge and so have never tried it out. Something I will have to sort out by the sounds of things.

    I was particularly mesmerise by your mousse – it sounds great and everything, but I can;t get past the mussel at the front sticking its tongue out at you. How rude! 😉

    The wild mushroom and warm duck egg sounds wonderful too – was the yolk cooked at all, or was it more Japanese in style (aka warm but raw)?

    The rest all looks and sounds wonderful, and if it bears comparison to the much missed ESI, I really need to get down there.

  7. Sarah: I think France is the best place to get rabbit – p’raps time to plan a holiday 🙂

    Linda: Really? I don’t find it gamey at all when cooked right. To me it’s like really REALLY tender chicken hehe…

    Lizzie: I saw your tweet about that! Got me excited to go to Racine and so happy it did not disappoint!

    Tori: The tartare was great… go!

    Gourmet Chick: I’ve only read good reviews so it’s definitely a place to go 🙂

    The Grubworm: LOL re the mussels! I didn’t even notice that but that’s all I can see now hahaha… The yolk wasn’t cooked – it was runny, so if you like runny yolk, you’d love that! And YES it did remind me a lot of ESI!

  8. Holy perfect evening! Cirque is amazing! I’ve only seen one show but I’d see another in a second. Plus, the mussels are omg so delish looking.

  9. I share your recently found love of Racine. A little touch of Paris in London!

  10. Cupcake: Cirque is usually soooo awesome, right? But this was just so slow! Anyway, I still had a pretty good night 😉

    Greedy Diva: i LOVE Racine! A worthy replacement for Eastside Inn!

  11. Oh wow! That looks amazing, and such good prices! Putting that down on my list for when I eventually go to London. 🙂

    Especially love the look of the venison, although I think it’s on red cabbage and not beans??

    xox Sarah

  12. Omigod, you missed the puddings? I spent the summer living in a flat around the corner from Racine, and only made it there to eat in my last week. The waiter practically insisted (ok, gently suggested) I had the creme caramel and it was the best I’ve eaten in my entire life. Trust me, I have a large statistical sample for comparison. I spent my remaining days in London plotting how I could sneak out of the house three times a day to get another fix…

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  14. chooken on January 29, 2011 at 8:11 am said:

    how freaking good does that rabbit look?!?

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