Fri, Feb 11, 2011 - Page 14 News List

Restaurant review: Rabbit Rabbit II (兔子兔子II)

By Noah Buchan  /  Staff Reporter

Its interior might be kitsch to some, or tasteless to others, but Rabbit Rabbit II puts on a pretty good Tex-Mex spread.

Photo: Noah Buchan, Taipei Times

Just in time for the Year of the Rabbit, Rabbit Rabbit recently opened a second location in the grid of alleys close to Exit 4 of the Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT Station (忠孝復興捷運站). And just as its lunar calendar namesake suggests, the interior is stuffed with bunny-phernalia: bunny bric-a-brac, bunny busts, bunny masks, bunnies, bunnies, bunnies.

There are even portraits of famous personages caricatured to look like rabbits: From the tasteful Marilyn Monroe to the hilarious Gene Simmons of KISS — complete with “demon” makeup and protruding snake-like tongue — to the portrait of a Hitler bunny, complete with swastika cap and toothbrush mustache.

Amidst cries of “How cute!” (好可愛) and a cacophony of camera clicks — people come to be photographed with Rabbit Rabbit’s knickknacks as much as they do to eat — I barely managed to get a table for two even though I arrived very early for lunch.

With its wall shelves of ceramic coffee jars and carafes, ersatz Windsor chairs and wooden floors, the eating area resembles a country cottage. The walls are adorned with vertical tongue-and-groove paneling painted white and pastel green in the front, pastel pink and white in the middle and black and white in the private back room. Think Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’s bizarre sets crossed with a color scheme from 1950s Miami.

Out front is a wooden deck surrounded by a white picket fence, which encloses an eating area that’s furnished with pink plastic chairs. I was surprised not to find any pink flamingos or gnomes as I sat at one of the four outside tables.

Rabbit Rabbit’s menu is typical American fare — though prepared and presented with the same attention to detail as has been applied to the decor. It has an extensive brunch menu including standards like omelets (NT$190 to NT$250), eggs Benedict (NT$210 to NT$250), French toast (NT$200) and pancakes (NT$200). The appetizer menu is pretty standard, apart from several oddities such as peanut butter chocolate French fries (NT$150). We went with the buffalo wings (NT$150), Cajun chicken fajitas (NT$260), chicken burger with pesto cream (NT$240) and an Oreo milk shake (NT$110).

Rabbit Rabbit II (兔子兔子II)

Address: 31, Ln 31, Da-an Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市大安路一段31巷31號) Telephone: (02) 2778-3445

Open: Daily from 11am to 10pm; closes at 10:30pm on Fridays and Saturdays

Average meal: NT$250

Details: Chinese and English menu, credit cards not accepted, 10 percent service charge, reservations recommended

On the Net:

Minutes after ordering, a plate of eight steaming hot buffalo wings arrived. Crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, they were lightly seasoned with a hot sauce, which was also served on the side. Sadly, there was no blue cheese or celery.

Neither was there guacamole when the chicken fajitas arrived. Served with three tortilla shells, sour cream, grated cheese and lettuce, they did however stand out for their robust red pepper flavor and fragrant, long grain rice pilaf. Rabbit Rabbit’s interpretation of this Tex-Mex standard is definitely above average for Taipei.

After one bite of the chicken burger with pesto sauce it became apparent that the pesto wasn’t, well, pesto-y. It was mushroomy. Although a little salty, it was good, and messy. The deliciously seasoned and crispy French fries, not the chocolate variety, handily sopped up the excess sauce.

For those with a sweet tooth, Rabbit Rabbit’s Oreo milk shake is large, thick, mixed with generous amounts of the cookie and topped with a yummy glob of whipped cream.

Rabbit Rabbit II is closed for cleaning today until 5pm. Anyone craving peanut butter chocolate French fries for lunch can try the flagship location at 32, Ln 160, Dunhua S Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市敦化南路一段160巷32號). Call: (02) 8771-4073.

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