I go to so many restaurants as part of my job and I’ll be honest in saying that there are many I visit that I end up not writing about because they are just not that good. Yes, this is a first world problem but I point this out because I’ve always wanted our readers to be 100% sure that I only review the places I LOVE, and Rabbit in the Moon is my new addition to that list.
I heard about them a year or so ago when a colleague of mine mentioned how they had a mind-blowing fillet mignon there and how much they loved the ambience of the place. So I knew I had to plan a visit at some point and it’s terrible that it’s taken me this long! Rabbit in the Moon, for those that haven’t heard, are a small but stunningly conceptualised eatery at the Thrupps Centre in Illovo. The idea seems to be centred on excellence in simplicity because beyond all its quirky charm and sophistication, both the menu and space are distilled down to something which I can only describe as unique.
I say unique because firstly the space is breathtaking. The shop fitter and designer need a nod for this one because it’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen in that you can sit outside in this almost glass box type area which leads out onto a more social eating space which can be seen in the first photo up above. I can imagine this being very popular on a Friday afternoon or for business lunches during the week. The tables are mostly café style in bright European cafe tones while some of the bigger tables are made from raw wood, adding a simplistic rustic appeal. Quirky rabbits like the one pictured above form part of the theme for obvious reasons and overall it’s a triumph not only aesthetically but also in terms of the ambience it creates.
The menu is refreshing to say the least, it took my wife and I over a half an hour just to come to our decision because the meals are just so well curated. You almost wish you could order a sample taster of every meal there! Classic like gourmet pizzas and pastas take up a page or two but each has a slight variation from your average pizza or pasta. Time was clearly taken formulating the selection. Both the grill and seafood sections are just as impressive with things like grilled lamb chops and truffle infused chips standing out for me. I eventually went for a charcuterie and cheese board which you get at so few places and is a favourite of mine, so I just couldn’t resist (despite some steep competition). My wife ordered their burger which is a tradition of hers. She’s tried almost every burger in Joburg at this point and she gave Rabbit in the Moon two thumbs up for their crack at this classic meal.
Overall I have nothing negative to say about Rabbit in the Moon. Their ambience, service and menu go down perfectly when you’re looking for something a little different. I’d advise booking a table if you’re planning on a visit though, because I noticed it gets full quite quickly and that’s always the first sign of a great eatery. Don’t wait as long as I did to give these guys a try, you won’t be disappointed!
Address: 198 Oxford Road, Illovo Mews
Bookings: 087 550 3462
By Byron Marais
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Venue Name:Rabbit in the Moon Gets Everything Right!
198 Oxford Road, Oxford Manor, Shop No 5, Illovo, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Opening Hours:Sunday - Wednesday: 12h00 - 21h00, Thursday - Sartuday: 12h00 - 23h00
Price Range:R450 for two
TripAdvisor Traveler RatingBased on 65 reviews
Michael S Says:
I've had a few different tasting menus over the years, some at Michelin starred restaurants. This was the best I've ever had. A real adventure from start to finish, everything delicious, some fun...
A simple vegetarian pizza could not have tasted better. Thin crispy base with delicious toppings. I am not one to finish an entire pizza but I found myself wanting more. Highly recommended.
Ate here at recommendation of old Uni friend who lives locally. They knew the owners and it is good for kids. I had the fish and a nice desert. Prices were very reasonable as rand is weak against...