Where: Rabbit Hole Organic Tea Bar, 146 Abercrombie St, Redfern NSW 2016.
After weeks of exams, my boyfriend and I took a trip to the new Redfern cafe Rabbit Hole Organic Tea Bar. Apparently they take a new take on afternoon and high teas which we’d associate with the likes of the QVB Tea Rooms. Instead, Rabbit Hole offers a visually interesting space at the end of Abercrombie Street, only 5 minutes walk from Redfern Station.
Upon entering, we were greeted with a really friendly waiter – the atmosphere and the treatment was casual and refreshing. Despite a small appearance from the outside, it’s spacious and beautifully lit on the inside.
Perusing the menu after we had sat in one of the tables along the wall, we found that the menu was nicely divided into ‘eat’ and ‘drink’. I opted for the Ginger Goddess and a pot of Toffee Apple. Both drinks turned out to be quite large, the pot tea especially. For $5.00 AUD, the pot of tea produced 5 cups of tea and possibly more for the two of us. We selected to eat the slow cooked beef in black tea with cheddar sourdough sandwich. This cost about $14 AUD from memory.
Their presentation is certainly lovely. The menu offers helpful hints on what drink to pair with what food (we didn’t end up following that though). I found that the sandwich, despite saying that the beef is tea-infused, didn’t really have the black tea flavour that would have differentiated it from any other cafe sandwich. Certainly a great sandwich though. Just don’t expect the black tea to really make an appearance.
The Ginger Goddess I would certainly recommend from their tea mocktails menu. Quite tangy with a bitterish ginger taste, I had to add two sugar cubes just because I cannot stand anything bitter. It appears to be expensive but you do get a large milkshake style glass to drink it out of.
I actually loved the Toffee Apple tea. The waitstaff showed us how their little teapot worked – it came with a hourglass to let us know when the brewing had stopped. After that you’re supposed to turn the dial on the lid around to stop the brewing process so it doesn’t overbrew. It was the right level of apple flavour and sweetness.
The one think that I remarked on was their theme of Alice in Wonderland. There was much lost potential, in my mind, to go all out with that theme. While the placecards on the tables were a creative way to use playing cards, I would’ve liked to see a more courageous departure from the industrial chic style that is all over Sydney now. GoodFood remarked that it was a brave place without a coffee in sight on the menu in Sydney’s inner city; one would think that that involved moving away from warehouse porn into Alice in Wonderland territory.
Overall it was a nice departure from our usual afternoon tea spots with the decor and the more relaxed style. I’m guessing the choice of the location and the style of menu is to attract the younger crowd of USYD students. While the decor could be better and the food menu might need a bit of a revamp to reflect the tea infusions and differentiate it from other cafe sandwiches, the tea menu is lovely and fresh.