Chris Black set to open new eatery at favourite Hillcrest spot…
Lupa Hillcrest is being transformed into a brand new eatery; The Black Rabbit. The brainchild of esteemed restaurateur, Chris Black, The Black Rabbit is a culmination point – the distillation of over 25 years of learning and experience in his enduring search to reach the pinnacle of hospitality excellence.
After successfully co-founding and running Lupa Osteria with Guy Cluver in 2013, the partners have now sold their remaining stake to Famous Brands and Chris is going it alone to serve up classic, contemporary cuisine at his latest creation. Nothing is an afterthought at The Black Rabbit. From your first sip to the last spoonful of parfait, each item on the menu is crafted with consideration and imagination and is designed to go beyond expectation.
Using consistent processes mixed with a pinch of reinvention, The Black Rabbit promises to offer exceptional hospitality. The intensely individual, authentic, and memorable experience is backed by extraordinarily good food and service with attention to every detail.
Promising an unparalleled wine cellar for you to explore, each wine has been carefully sourced after extensive research – and tasting. Considered the main meal of the day in many cultures, The Black Rabbit loves long, lazy lunching. But it is in the evening that The Black Rabbit is truly transformed to offer you a dining experience like no other.
The menu is a celebration of the seasons; by considering fresh, local ingredients and crafted by what inspires Chris. Think fluffy soufflés and oozy croque monsieurs. Snack on parmesan churros, whipped ricotta, or marinated olives. Or start with the Black Rabbit Steak Tartare or Salt and Pepper Calamari. Mains are where the wood oven comes alive with options like Wood Roasted Hake with lemon butter or Poached Kingklip with garam masala, jasmine rice and coriander. The wood fired pizzas take you from Mozambique to the Mediterranean. Sure to be a favourite is the Black Rabbit Wagyu Burger with crispy pancetta, cheese, and zuni pickles.
Chris envisions The Black Rabbit as being an extension of your home – a welcoming place where you can dine in comfort with food that you wouldn’t ordinarily cook at home. “Our hospitality mantra is that we are hosting friends. We want to spoil you with the experience. It’s simple. You just must leave us better than when you arrived,” says Chris.
With the slightest nod to the owner, The Black Rabbit name is full of significance. Rabbits are deeply connected to the Black family and as family pets, they form an indelible part of their children’s memories and are symbolic of their family connection.
The Black Rabbit name alludes to the element of surprise – the anticipation of experiencing something new and completely different to what was expected. There is a warm nostalgia to the establishment that hints of another era and entices you in. It makes you want to know more and is all about experience not appearance.
Chris has a wealth of experience in the restaurant industry and has owned and run numerous successful restaurants around South Africa. Starting out from humble beginnings at age 20 as a delivery driver for a pizzeria, Andreotti’s, Chris has gone from strength to strength, with a string of acclaimed restaurants to his name. At age 21, he was given the opportunity to buy Andreotti’s – and he took it. With perseverance and hard work came success. He then bought The Aubergine from his brother and ran it successfully for 10 years, with a string of accolades and Top 10 placements.
His passion for food and hospitality is what has inspired every detail of this award-winning chef new masterpiece, The Black Rabbit. Chris’s endearing warmth and unparalleled hospitality, combined with exceptional attention to every detail, are by-products of his zeal and creativity to deliver exceptional classic contemporary cuisine. Classic dishes are reimagined and inspired by fresh, seasonal produce and quality ingredients. He takes inspiration from some of the world’s top chefs and his learnings and experiences from his extensive travels.
Every one of Chris Black’s restaurants over the last 25 years have seen incredible success and he has built a solid name and following on the greater Durban food scene. This is a new era for Chris Black and his family as he passes the reins of Lupa to the capable hands of Famous Brands and fully explores his creativity at The Black Rabbit. His journey has been deeply personal and enriching, marked by an insatiable zeal for hospitality excellence.
Article written by Outlook Orange.
Lupa Hillcrest’s doors will officially close on 30 June and will reopen as The Black Rabbit on Thursday 14 July. Contact The Black Rabbit today to be part of the first sitting.
FOR MORE INFO: 14 Old Main Road, Lillies Quarter, Hillcrest | 031 765 3059 | www.theblackrabbit.co.za.