Thursday, 6 February 2014

One For The Chocolate Lovers: Hotel Chocolat's Restaurant | Rabot 1745 |

As you can tell from my last post, I like chocolate a lot. Matt is also partial to the sweet stuff, so when we received a booking at Hotel Chocolat's restaurant, Rabot 1745, from his mum as a joint birthday present (his birthday is in December) it seemed like a perfect choice! Apologies for the following pictures, I was really excited to use my new camera...but I forgot to put the SD card in and had to use my iPhone instead!

Rabot 1745 is based in Borough, London and situated right next to the market. The basic concept of the restaurant is to present a 'cocoa-centric cuisine' where all dishes have an element of some form of the cocoa bean as a new spice. As soon as you walk in you are hit by a scent of chocolate, which isn't overpowering at all but warm and comforting. You first walk into the cafe which would be perfect in the day to pop in for a hot chocolate while perusing the markets. They have merchandise on offer too and even have the machine they use to grind the beans on display and tell you which beans are being ground at that time.

The small restaurant is situated upstairs and is a dimly lit and cosy affair influenced by their St Lucian estate, made complete with a well stocked bar. We chose two chocolate based cocktails to start although they have plenty of other cocktails and drinks to choose from - I had the chocolate soother and Matt and the hazlenut soother. Both were very alcoholic and we both preferred Matt's as mine had the consistency of a pudding it was so thick!

Picture of a Chocolate Soother and Hazelnut Soother Cocktail at Rabot 1945
L-R: Chocolate Soother & Hazelnut Soother
Each person each gets 3 cocoa beans before you order, along with some information about how the restaurant uses the beans and the history behind them. This meant we got the opportunity to be hands on with them and try a pure cocoa bean which was surprisingly sweet and a little nutty. It was a really nice touch and something that made you more involved with the experience.

Picture of 3 cocoa beans at the Hotel Chocolat restaurant
Unshelled cocoa beans at Rabot 1745

Before our starter arrived we got given a shot of butternut squash soup accompanied by bread with cacao nibs in which was a delicious indication of the quality of the food that would follow the rest of the night.

Spiced Butternut Squash Soup Shots with Cacao Nib Bread

For starter I had the Pearl Barley Scotch Egg which was encrusted with cacao nibs and accompanied by a warm salad of  roasted root veg (although I wouldn't call it much of a salad), goat's cheese dressing and cacao oil emulsion. It was so tasty and the unusual combination of flavours were unlike anything else I've had before. I loved that the scotch eggs were warm and runny inside too. Matt had the Seared Plantation Pork Terrine which came with gribiche sauce, crisp sweetbread and cacao nib condiment and was equally as yummy.

Cacao Nib encrusted pearl barley scotch egg

Slow Roast Shoulder of Lamb was my choice for the main course which was basted with cacao balsamic, roast garlic mash and studded with seasonal veg. It was so tender it literally fell of the bone and melted in  your mouth and the rich sticky sauce and creamy mash worked really well together. I also liked that it was a big enough dish that meant we didn't have to order more sides so value for money was quite good. Matt had the  35 day aged cacao marinated rib eye steak that came with roast winter vegetables, white chocolate horseradish mash and a red wine cacao jus (which I also got). I don't think he could detect the white chocolate in the mash and he preferred the steak without too much of the jus. 

Lastly, we picked Chocolate Genesis for dessert, which is every bit as decadent as it sounds (how could we not?!) In hindsight we should have probably just shared one as we were pretty full by this point and nearly at the point of total chocolate consumption. It includes lots of bite size pieces which signify the story of the bean - from roasted beans and drinking chocolate to truffles, pralines and pure bars of the stuff. It also included a small shot of coconut water to cleanse your palette but even this addition didn't let me finish the whole thing. We ended up getting a doggy bag of what we couldn't finish. A happy birthday was written on both our plates too which was a lovely touch.

I'm so pleased that the inclusion of chocolate in every dish didn't turn out to be a gimick as it could have easily slipped into that territory. If anything it added a subtle rich flavour to the dishes and worked really well with the other ingredients - whoever planned the menu did a fantastic job! It is pretty pricey (around £20 for a main) but for a completely different dining experience for top quality food and service, I think it is well worth the money. The only negative is that the emphasis is mainly on dark chocolate and combined with the dark chocolate drinks, cacao nibs and pudding we really were chocolated out as it was so rich! We also received some dark chocolate buttons with the bill and some chocolate goodie bags to take home as it was our birthday celebration.

I would definitely recommend this restaurant if you are a chocolate lover or just fancy something different to try, and the laid back vibe of the establishment and quality of the food makes for a perfect pairing.

Would you try a dining experience like this? Do you like Hotel Chocolat? xxx


  1. Ooo those chocolate cocktails look soooo delicious!


    1. They were yummy! Definitely preferred the praline one though xxx


Thank you for taking the time to comment, I read every single one! Make sure to check back or subscribe for email updates as I always reply, especially if it is a question. xxx


Blog Design by Bonjour Belle Designs