Rabot 1745 Restaurant Review

Posted by in Features on December 18 2013 | Leave A Comment

Rabot 1745 Restaurant

We don’t often do restaurant reviews on Chocablog, but when Hotel Chocolat open a restaurant where every item on the menu contains cocoa or chocolate in some form, we think it’s worth writing about.

The restaurant in question, Rabot 1745, is located in Borough Market, just around the corner from Hotel Chocolat’s old Rabot Estate café. It replaces the café and shop, and continues to sell a range of cocoa products to local foodies.

As with Hotel Chocolat’s Roast + Conch cafés, chocolate is made from the bean on-site. I love the fact that anyone can walk in from the street and see exactly how chocolate is made. I’ve encountered many European artisan chocolate makers who are so secretive about the process that they wouldn’t dream of letting the public see how they make chocolate, let alone place their conches in the middle of a shop.

Rabot 1745 Restaurant

That level of openness would be unthinkable for some chocolate makers, and I think it’s fantastic that a British Company is leading the way, both in terms of transparency and simply getting people to ask questions about where chocolate comes from. Hotel Chocolat have managed to retain the magic of chocolate making while cutting through the mystery of what is actually a very simple process, and I hope others follow their lead.

The dining area in Rabot 1745 is upstairs from the shop, and I’m struck by how well thought out the decor is. With lots of natural wood and subtle lighting, it’s both stylish and laid back.

Rabot 1745 Restaurant

The menu – which is available to view online – is varied and enticing, with something to suit all tastes, but everything has cocoa in some form. The real question is, does the cocoa enhance the dishes, or is it just a gimmick?

I opted to start with the Cacao-Crusted Ticklemore Goat’s Cheese, served with carpaccio, pumpkin purée, seasonal leaves and nib dressing. Not chocolately, but beautifully presented and delicious.

Rabot 1745 Restaurant

For my main course, I opted for the Cacao Marinated Beef – short horn rib-eye steak with winter vegetables, white chocolate horseradish mash and red wine cacao jus.

Rabot 1745 Restaurant

The meat was absolutely delicious, if perhaps a little overcooked for my liking. The cacao elements helped lift the flavours, but as with the starter, unless you’re looking for them, you might not notice. The mash was sweet and creamy, although being spread out on the plate, didn’t stay warm very long. Not that it lasted very long anyway.

My friend opted for the shoulder of lamb with cacao balsamic, which was sweet and tender and went down equally well.

Rabot 1745 Restaurant

For dessert, I opted for the most indulgent and chocolatey option on the menu – the “Mousse Collection”. Consisting of three mousses, each made from a different chocolate; a St Lucian 50% with sea salt, Vietnam 80% with kirsch-soaked cherries and 90% Ecuador with toasted almonds. The St Lucia mousse was the hands down winner for me, followed by the Ecuador.

Rabot 1745 Restaurant

I thoroughly enjoyed the food, atmosphere and whole experience of Rabot 1745 and will certainly be back. But most of all, I love Hotel Chocolat’s experimental and innovative approach to presenting real chocolate in new and exciting ways. Whether you’re a hardcore chocolate lover or just someone who loves great food, I highly recommend a visit.

Rabot 1745
2-4 Bedale Street
Borough Market


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Comments On This Post

  1. I agree that the cocoa cuisine offered by Hotel Chocolate is amazing. We had the pleasure of staying at the Hotel Chocolat Boucan in St. Lucia and sampled the entire menu over the course of 3 days. It was magnificent, and so were the surroundings!

  2. I love their shop downstairs and am very excited to discover that they have a restaurant upstairs. The decor and ambience looks amazing, I shall have to make a visit with my OH and try all the chocolatey dishes.

  3. I knew nothing about either the shop or restaurant. I shall be sure to visit to watch the conching process if ever I do make it up to London. I’ve made a 6 course chocolate meal and I did purposefully try not to have it taste too much of chocolate as that would have been overpowering and made the meal unpleasant. However, what it did do is enhance and enrich as well as add a bit of excitement.

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