Birthday Dinner at Rabot 1745
Rabot 1745 for a great chocolate themed dinner. If you know me or Hana you’ll know we both have, to say the least, quite a sweet tooth. So last month for Hana’s birthday day she choose to go to two very chocolate themed places with me and her parents; first seeing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory the Musical in Covent Garden followed by dinner at Rabot 1745. Rabot 1745 is one of two restaurants from master chocolatier brand Hotel Chocolat. I was eager to visit the Borough Market restaurant having missed out on a trip for a friends birthday back in 2014, we were off on a trip to get engaged in Paris.
I love Borough Market itself and the surrounding area. Aside from the fantastic fresh produce and different foods you can get in the market itself there are some great places to eat (like this steak restaurant in Borough Market we went to for my Stag Do). If you visit Rabot for lunch or dinner make sure to get there a little early to look around the market itself.
Inside Hotel Chocolat’s Rabot 1745 Restaurant
Rabot 1745 sits above a cafe – bar and chocolate shop below. Whilst the cafe and bar downstairs has a very rustic feel and decor with rustic wooden high tables and stools and soft lighting. You can also see into the kitchen down here and see some of the wonderful chocolaty food being created. Upstairs the restaurant itself feels modern and elegant with wood paneled walls and soft lighting. On a warmer evening in the summer you can sit out on a balcony terrace overlooking the picturesque market below. Though we visited on a chilly late February evening there were a few people out on the balcony, wrapped in blankets.
We started the evening with some Prosecco. Hana’s glass was free whilst we also ordered a bottle of Hotel Chocolat’s own HC PROSECCO SUPERIORE, Doc Brut, Italy NV. I think this was the only part of our meal which didn’t have any chocolate or cocoa in it at all. We started with table treats of a cacao bean chocolate nibs each to sample. Breaking the shell open you immediately got a waft of the bitter chocolate smell.
As you would expect from a restaurant from a master chocolate brand such as Hotel Chocolat, Rabot 1745 features cacao and chocolate in every dish. At first that might sound a little off putting but think about when you add just a couple of squares of dark high cocoa content chocolate to dishes such as chili con carne or spaghetti bolognese. As cacao is the raw product before all the sugar and milk is added to make chocolate it doesn’t add any additional sweetness. Rather, it adds a deep rich background note to a dish.
As we had already filled up a little on chocolate treats when watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane we skipped starters – though they did look lovely.
The Food at Rabot 1745
Jumping straight into the main courses. I went for the 9 hour braised shin of beef, cacao beer herb dumplings with winter vegetables whilst Hana ordered the Rare seared tuna, cacao-creole roast sweet potatoes, spicy cucumber, peanut with a coconut salad. Hana’s parents had the Chopped rump steak burger, aged cheddar, cacao beer braised onions served with potato chips, creole chutney and the Caribbean fish and shellfish one-pot with coconut and tamarind. We also ordered some extra potato fries with cacao ketchup and green beans for the table as well as some of the dishes were a little light on carbs.
The 9 hour braised beef shin was absolutely gorgeous. It fell apart at the touch of my fork and almost melted in my mouth. The beef was perfectly cooked and the gravy sauce was rich and deep with a hint of cacao in the background. I love dumplings, though I hardly ever cook them at home as I don’t make casseroles often. The winter vegetables were carrots and I think swede. Hana’s tuna looked fantastically cooked as well and was well and truly rare throughout inside. There was a nice lot of salad with it, I really dislike when you just get a couple of limp lettuce leafs on the side of your plate. This however looked really tasty.
I didn’t taste the burger or the Caribbean fish one pot but both looked well put together dishes. A surprise stand out for me was the spiced cacao nib cacao ketchup. You can buy it in their shop and it goes great with chips and I should think a lot more besides.
On to dessert. Hana ordered the The Rabot 1745 Mousse Collection which features, Trinidad 68% Milk with malt brittle / Saint Lucia 78% Dark with toasted nut crumble and Ecuador 90% Dark with roast nibs. As a nice little bit of presentation they even wrote happy birthday to Hana on the serving board. Hana found the 90% dark chocolate to be just too rich for her which meant I got to eat that one, not that I was complaining!
I went a bit lighter of dessert and had Cacao-honey roasted fig with cacao nib ice-cream, Brittany shortbread and conched chocolate sticks. Possibly in the knowledge that I might get some of Hana’s mouses as well I figured on ordering a lighter, less rich dessert. We finished our dinner with four very full and satisfied tummies.
Rabot 1745 is on Bedale Street at the side of London’s famous Borough Market. The Restaurant is open from 12pm – 3pm for lunch, then 5pm – 10pm for dinner. Main courses range in price from £14 – £20.
2 – 4 Bedale St,