A meal at Rabot 1745 leaves you in a cacao-induced cacoon of contentment from which you only rouse yourself to plan the next visit.
Far from a sickly experience, the Hotel Chocolat-founded venture has gleaned the sweet and savoury properties of the cocoa bean to create a richly diverse menu suitable for the cocoa sceptic to the chocoholic.
The subtle spice threads throughout each course and builds to the dessert finish, where the chocolate soup with soft meringue and toasted almonds vies with the classic chocolate mousse for a craved-for chocolate climax.
I revelled in the delicate chocolate traces in my starter of hen’s egg wrapped in pearl barley and mushrooms with a cacao-nib crumb crust and roast kale and garlic, followed by a West Indian vegetable curry platter served with cacao-nib rice.
While my companions chose more overtly chocolaty hits including a sourdough dipped in cacao balsamic – rich and blending the sumptuous sweet-savoury notes of the cacao – and cacao pesto, followed by a main with the sure-to-become-legendary white chocolate mash.
I washed it down with their signature fresh cacao martini of cacao pulp, vodka, soursop and mint, and would recommend the cacao gin and tonic for an exotic twist on a classic, as well as the creamy praline soother for chocolate worshippers.
The restaurant is nestled in Borough Market where views on to the bustle of life outside complement the soothing cocoa bean shades of the interior.
The service is excellent and the attention-to-detail is impressive with cacao ingredients in the handwash and even rainforest sounds in the loos – transporting you to the beans’ home in St Lucia where they were harvested at the Rabot Estate plantation.
The menu is a little pricey but the experience warrants it and you come away feeling profoundly satisfied and deliciously buzzing but without fear of a hangover.