Long, light evenings on the verandah with a glass of wine. Hastily packing beach towels and flip-flops for a last-minute day at the coast. Friends gathering for a barbecue – then dashing inside as the rain comes down. It can only be the great British summer, and as well as all these familiar moments, the new season brings fresh ingredients to our kitchen tables at Rabot 1745, London and Roast+Conch, Leeds.
As well as our signature cacao, for our summer menu our chefs have been experimenting with Caribbean influences on seasonal vegetables – from broad beans to new potatoes – as well as our latest harvest of Saint Lucian cacao nibs. Here are a few of their favourite dishes – just to give you a taste…
Globe artichoke escabeche
with new-season Saint Lucian cacao nib and broad bean mousse
It’s artichoke season, so we’ve made the flower-bud vegetable the star of the show in this British take on a traditional Caribbean breakfast dish, which we’re serving as a palate-wakening starter. There’s a reason it’s traditionally eaten on weekends: after cooking in lemon water, our artichoke must rest in the stock for at least 12 hours. We then fill it with a broad bean mousse and add a side of pickled vegetables before the pièce de résistance: a drizzle of cacao balsamic that brings balance to the dish, adding a sweet acidity to the vegetables and cutting through the creaminess of the broad bean mousse.
Poached fillet of cod
with new potatoes, callaloo and spiced cacao-infused tamarind bouillon
Tamarind – that sour-tinged-with-sweet fruit you’ve probably tasted in Worcestershire sauce – plays a central role in many Caribbean dishes. So it is with our fillet of cod, which is poached in a curried bouillon infused with the pulp, the tart flavour given depth and smoothness by earthy cacao.
To accompany: new potatoes, which aren’t only picked younger but a waxier variety that our chefs have chosen for their ability to hold their texture when cooked. Meanwhile, our callaloo – a leaf vegetable dish – is inspired by the spinach that grows on our own Rabot Estate.
Tell your waiter whether you prefer your order with or without grilled chillis – we recommend them for a background warmth that brings the panoply of flavours together.
Cacao pulp, conched chocolate and peanut iced parfait
with banana cremeux and chocolate soil
Great banana leaves shade our cacao trees and peanuts grow around the edges of our cacao plantation on Saint Lucia. This was the inspiration for a dessert that’s rich with 70% Saint Lucian chocolate and peanut, and subtle on the cacao pulp and banana. Similar to ice cream, this cool summer dessert sees its layers encased in a chocolate shell – and the satisfaction of cracking it open is enough to rival crème brûlée.
Let’s talk layers. The cacao pulp that surrounds the beans in a pod is zesty yet creamy for instant refreshment. That ‘conched’ chocolate? We’re talking about the fact that we conch our own Saint Lucian beans right on site – no couverture here – to produce a smooth chocolate with notes of caramel and leather from its home terroir. After that punch of peanut it’s on to the toppings you cast aside in your eagerness to get to that ‘crack’: soft banana cream, a sprinkling of crumbled chocolate biscuit for texture and a crunchy biscuit swirl. This is why the French word ‘parfait’ means ‘perfect’…
Also this summer
Enjoy all three courses al fresco – but without the threat of rain – on our Rabot 1745 covered terrace, which overlooks London’s Borough Market and Bridget Jones’s apartment! Alternatively, really soak up the sun at our pavement tables among the hustle and bustle of Roast+Conch’s Boar Lane.
In the mood for something a touch more genteel? Try our summer afternoon tea menu, now featuring Viennese Whirls with lemon cream cheese, chocolate caramel slices with 70% Saint Lucian ganache, raisin scones and cacao-cinammon scones. It’s served seven days a week at Roast+Conch, Leeds and Tuesday to Saturday at Rabot 1745.
But if it’s ice cream you just have to have, stop by Rabot 1745 and try our new Ice Cream of the Gods: a nutty, mellow ice cream made with real cacao nibs, topped with salted caramel or classic chocolat sauce, roasted hazelnuts or chocolate flakes. Or ask about our Knickerbocker Glory – trust us, we’ve gone all out…
View our full Summer Menu here
Book a table and join us for sumptuous cacao-centric cuisine in a setting inspired by an Anglo-West Indian plantation house.
Afternoon tea served 3pm until 5pm, Tuesday to Saturday. Book your afternoon tea.
Afternoon tea served seven days a week. Walk-ins at the café between midday and 4pm. Bookings at the restaurant between midday and 5pm. Book your afternoon tea.