Jess writes: It’s no secret that mum and I both love chocolate, so I was really looking forward to our visit to Hotel Chocolat’s Rabot 1745 Restaurant in Central London. Mum had decided to treat us, and I was really excited to see how Hotel Chocolat would incorporate chocolate into their food. This is what we thought:
As soon as we sat at our table, mum and I were given a small dish of cacao nibs to try, which were rich and delicious. This was an unusual touch, and meant that I was looking forward to what happened next. I was also thrilled when our server asked us for a refill (we obviously said yes).
Mum and I shared a starter: “Sourdough with three cacao accompaniments: chocolate balsamic, cacao pesto, nib butter – £6”. We were interested to see how these tasted, and they were all delicious. We unfortunately didn’t have enough bread to lap up all of the sauce, but I was very impressed by how clearly you could taste the cacao, and how well it worked with everything.
Next came the main courses: I picked “Mac and cheese in cacao nib pastry, smoky cacao nib and almond roast cauliflower – £14”. This looked very small on the plate, and I was surprised by how rich it was. I enjoyed the mac and cheese, although it wasn’t particularly special. For such a fancy restaurant, it could have been more interesting. Mum tried the “Baked sweet potato gratin with cacao buttered black beans, poached eggs and melting cheese – £15”, and she enjoyed it, though she was confused why the cacao was added. I agreed with her – it didn’t stand out in either of the dishes, and didn’t add anything to the experience.
We were both too stuffed for a rich, chocolatey dessert, so instead chose “Three home-made sorbets – cacao pulp-soursop, guava, pineapple-lime – £7”. These were lovely – the cacao one was unlike anything I’d tried before, and the pineapple-lime was mouth-watering. Had we been in the mood for chocolate, I’m sure they would have been even better.
Overall, our trip to Rabot 1745 was very nice, but not super special. We both liked the novelty of the chocolate, the atmosphere was lovely, and the servers were great. The restaurant was pricier than usual, but the starter and main were definitely worth it, it was an exciting experience, and also a good conversation starter! We also thought the starter and desserts were amazing and reasonably priced, but we probably could have got a nicer main course somewhere else. I would love to return, but this time just for another plate of the sourdough with dips, a dessert, and a hot chocolate.