Standing proudly on Oxford Street – in all its fluorescent pink glory is Ruby Rabbit. I must admit I was initially slightly perturbed by the name. I mean, the outside is hot pink – not even ruby. But as I walk in the entrance, I feel like Alice when she climbed down the rabbit-hole – “down, down, down” – and then suddenly, Alice emerges in a wonderland, as do I and it all makes sense.
There are three levels to this fairytale venue. On the ground level, iron birdcages hang from the ceiling, providing dim, atmospheric lighting while the walls are creatively painted with flowers. An elaborate bar is adorned with a candy-pink sequinned manikin, an Elvis-style guitar and other rock-star paraphernalia. It’s bright, it’s crazy and the energy is contagious.
On the second level is the nightclub known as “the upside down room”. With a roaming dance floor, fluorescent lighting, stainless steel bar tables and childbook-style wallpaper that is plastered on the walls upside down – the space is mismatched and crazy. But the piece-de-resistance comes in the form of an entire couch seating area that is fixed upside-down on the ceiling. It’s true, after a few cocktails I do feel a little upside down but I have to say, I don’t think this room’s fitout is going to help anybody’s drinking disorientation.
Another little staircase and we reach my favourite level – the cocktail lounge on the third floor. A retro blue theme runs throughout the space with antique-style paintings of ducks dressed in royal attire. At one end of the room there is a cosy corner of blue velvet pin-cushioned couches while at the other it is an open space with a decadent chandelier towering above. The whole thing is odd, quirky and super refreshing.
With a fit-out like this, you couldn’t do an average drink and the cocktails at Ruby Rabbit certainly don’t disappoint. The food is also a standout. Owner Sue Loumbos explains the ad-hoc menu of burgers, salads, fajitas and chips is just a list of all her favourite foods. And I have to say, we must have pretty similar tastes. The ocean trout is simply beautiful – seared to a crisp yet pink and fleshy on the inside. The onion bhaji adds a crunchy spiciness that works well with the zesty watercress salad. The sirloin steak with gratin potato isn’t lost in the béarnaise sauce which is inspiring and the meal will please the manliest of men but is also a nice dish for those yearning a tender cut of red meat.
Read more about Ruby Rabbit here