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Restaurants & Bars

Rabot Estate, Borough Market, Southwark, London

limster | Apr 17, 201001:06 PM     5

I thought Amadei and Domori had cornered all the Chuao beans (a cacao growing region in Venezula), but these guys also have Chuao bars (70%). The chocolate is quite smooth (probably quite a bit of conching) but without the (excessive to me) chewy texture that one often sees in Domori chocs. Temper is decent with a bit of snap. A wonderful floral (orchid-ish, vanilla-like) quality, a deeper nutty peanut butter like flavour, moderately light and fruity (not like some criollo fruit bombs) and fairly well balanced. A long caramel finish. Just did a choc tasting with some friends recently and this was comparable to the Domori and superior to Amadei (which was marred by a musty "corked" flavour, which some of us thought might have come from the plastic wrapping). And at a fraction of Domori's and Amadei's price (about a third, actually).

The 70% 'Dash of Milk' using beans from their St Lucia estate has prominent smoky notes, deep and nutty, perhaps some shared flavours with single malts, and also a slight Horlicky malty finish. Similar temper as the above bar.

The chocolate tea (coarsely ground unsweetened cocoa beans dissolved in milk) was uplifting and enjoyable -- a pleasant raw cocoa flavour, light but in a good way, more nut and woods than fruit. There's a version with spices and another with rum; yet to try them.

A chicken sandwich with rocket was pressed and grilled, melting the cocoa on it to a black mole like sauce, chocolatey with some notes of sesame, and lending a bit of gravity to the sandwich. Not as complex as the Oaxacan speciality, but quite tasty.

The croissant is quite ordinary, bready and slightly chewy rather than crisp and flakey, but they drizzle generous amounts of freshly melted chocolate on top.

Chocolate pot is dense, rich but with a very fine powdery textural finish.

Yet to try their hot choc (presumably it's sweetened) and other cakes etc. They also have a goat's cheese sandwich with choc and smoked salmon with what looked like roasted cacao nibs (nibs also available separately in little containers as a snack).

Serious chocolate and worth checking out. They just opened a few days ago (Wed iirc; been trying them over the last few days), so it;'s possible that menu offerings etc will change. They are next to the Tasting Room, across from Brindisa (restaurant, not shop). The store also has a bunch of Hotel Chocolate stuff - skip that and go for the Rabot Estate offerings.

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