I should never have mentioned the notion of giving new places a rest as ever since I did I’ve barely been anywhere else. The wave of new openings has now starting chasing towards my place of business with Rabbie’s recently opening on Waterloo Place. It’s part of the wider Rabbie’s Trail Burners tour business.
In the property that had been wedding shop Caroline Castigliano for many years, the place suffers a little from the same problem that nearby Pep & Fodder did when first it opened, namely you can be standing right in front of it and it just doesn’t look like a cafe. Signage will be constrained by city centre understatement restrictions, no doubt, but there needs to be a more prominent mention of the place now being a cafe to attract more passing trade.
The interior is very smart with a nice conversion of the space having been undertaken. It retains a sense of elegance with beautiful cornicing and a wonderful oversized wall-clock to the fore.
I’d popped in for coffee, the other day, and the owner had been kind enough to waive the charge for the Italian Aroma espresso as an opening week welcome. On this visit, the welcome was similarly warm although I did have a little bit of trouble conveying my order and a glass of water that I ordered never arrived.
It was lovely to see a familiar soup combo as the daily choice. Sweet potato, coconut and tamarind signified that the excellent Union of Genius folks were supplying yet another smart cafe. It was as excellently tasty as ever.
To this I added a pastrami, mozzarella and avocado sandwich, which at the suggestion of the counter woman I had toasted. The pastrami was very good, but the other elements didn’t shine through and the sandwich was only toasted enough to crisp the outside rather than effectively melt the cheese filling.
So overall, I think Rabbie’s is a very promising new addition to our range of city centre cafes. There is some room for improvement, but they’re just starting out so this is only to be expected. It’s very handily placed for me, so I look forward to popping in again soon to see how things are progressing.
Blythe scores Rabbie’s
4/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for service
4/5 for setting
giving an overall 15/20
I ate: sweet potato, coconut and tamarind soup; pastrami, mozzarella and avocado roll
I wore: black shoes
Total bill: £8.70