Rabot 1745 is the brainchild of Hotel Chocolat’s founders Angus Thirlwell and Pater Harris, who wanted to bring the popular coca cuisine of its sibling, the Boucan Restaurant in Saint Lucia, to Londoners.
“As London’s most renowned and oldest food market, Borough Market was the natural choice for Rabot 1745 as it champions the grower and sustainable food,” said chief executive Thirlwell.
“We want to reconnect the world of cocoa growing with that of fine chocolate, and now cocoa cuisine.Cocoa is incredibly versatile with deep, rich notes. It creates striking flavour harmonies with all sorts of other ingredients you just wouldn’t expect. We want to encourage people to be adventurous and try cocoa with a different twist.”
Plantation to plate
Having bought the Rabot Estate cocoa plantation eight years ago, Thirlwell and Harris launched Hotel Chocolat as a website and chocolate mail order company before embarking on retail shops worldwide. In 2011, a 14-bed hotel and restaurant opened on the Rabot cocoa estate in the West Indies.
“Our working cocoa plantation dates back to 1745,” added Thirlwell. “We’re immensely proud that over 250 years later we are able to bring some of the world’s rarest, most sought after cocoa beans from plantation to plate.”
Spread over several floors, the new restaurant, bar and shop will offer a modern take on that West Indian plantation house. An innovative restaurant menu has been designed by head chef Jon Bentham, who previously worked for Hotel Chocolat in Saint Lucia. His dishes at Borough Market will be light and contemporary, all underpinned with subtle notes of cocoa.
On the menu:
- Guinea fowl, aubergine and cacao – Breast of guinea fowl marinated in Borough Market-roasted cacao with slow-cooked aubergine, coriander and mint.
- Magnificent Pitona - A soft meringue with Borough Market-made chocolate, sliced banana and flaked almonds.
- Soufriére cheesecake - soursop-mascarpone cream, mango jelly, cacao pulp purée on a biscuit base of cinnamon, cacao nib and pecan.
Rabot 1745 will feature cocoa bean roasting and small batch chocolate making right on-site. The cocoa offering also extends to the Rabot 1745 bar which will offer a vast array of cocktails and rums such as the Cocoa Gin Martini - a gin-and-orange cocktail with notes of spicy cocoa, macadamia nut and orange zest. Guests will also be able to browse the boutique until late at night, with chocolates and cocoa cuisine ingredients available to purchase.
Last year, Hotel Chocolat opened Roast & Conch, a casual café concept serving cocoa-based food and drink in the Seven Dials district of Covent Garden. The company is now set to expand that brand, with another Roast & Conch opening in Leeds on 21 November.
Meanwhile, National Chocolate Week takes place throughout this week, with a variety of chocolate-themed events taking place across the UK. For more information, visit www.chocolateweek.co.uk.
Rabot 1745 will open at 2-4 Bedal Street, Borough Market, on 14 November.