If, like us, you were shocked at the news that Ash Restaurant had closed its doors (in June 2018), fret not, fellow foodies… Because, as the cliché goes, when one door closes, another opens. And from the ashes, a brand-new concept, has risen!
Introducing Riverine Rabbit, a warm and sophisticated restaurant just off the tourist track, curated by sister duo Ash Heeger and Mandy van der Berg. “We’ve taken the previous space, which was dark and moody, and brought it to life with loads of greenery and artwork on the walls,” explains Ash. It’s still as stylish as its predecessor, with architectural grey and subtle hints of terrazzo, marble and leather creating a light and airy vibe.
“We want each and every guest to feel like they got what they came for,” says the 28-year-old chef, “be it a quiet dinner with a lover, a celebratory meal with friends, or even just a meal alone. We want our guests to feel at home.”
More than meat’s the eye
So, how does Riverine Rabbit differ from Ash?
”That’s like comparing apples and oranges,” she laughs. “Riverine Rabbit is its own, entirely different concept. The new menu is more refined than before, minimal, thoughtful – with a lot less focus on meat, and a more balanced offering.”
Guests will be able to enjoy a three-course offering, a five-course reduced tasting menu, or go all the way with a carefully curated seven-course degustation menu, paired with carefully selected wines. There’s even the option of sitting at the Chef’s Table – and being part of the process of selecting new dishes and tasting them!
“Dealing with fresh food and ingredients on a daily basis, we have a responsibility to practise sustainability. As a brand, we have a platform from which to inspire others to tread lightly, and leave something worthwhile behind. We can only hope that the message resonates. And others follow!” says Ash.
If music be the food of love…
One of the stand-out features of Ash Restaurant was its phenomenal playlist. So, what’s on the decks at Riverine Rabbit? “We are staying true to our personal style,” Ash assures us. “That means 90s hip-hop, rock ’n’ roll, and some indie too. No elevator jazz!” Rock on, sistah!
And, though it’s a fine-dining experience, there are no pompous place settings and stiff upper lips, but rather great food prepared with passion, served with heart, and enjoyed in chic, comfortable surrounds.
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Opened 17 October 2018
Where to find it 81 Church Street, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town