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UK's first chocolate eatery to open next month

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Rabot 1745 will be the country's first gourmet chocolate restaurant when it opens in London's Borough Market next month.

The initiative is lead by Angus Thirlwell - one of the founders of the Hotel Chocolat retail brand. It will feature a menu by chef Jon Bentham with a unique and innovative use of chocolate, the Daily Mail reports.

For example, starters such as mullet and olive gnocchi with chocolate mustard will be available, or butternut squash dumplings with a chocolate skin and cacao nib crumble . As for main courses, diners can select from the likes of dover sole with carrots in cacao butter and balsamic chocolate or cacao-marinated beef with white chocolate horseradish mash and cacao - both of which cost £26.

Of course, when the emphasis is on chocolate and indulging the sweet tooth, the main focus is the dessert menu - for £55, guests can get a tasting menu consisting of Mekong Delta dark chocolate with cherries, Ecuadorian dark chocolate with almonds, milk chocolate from St Lucia with Cornish sea salt and Vietnamese dark chocolate with cherries.

The news is relevant to the catering industry for numerous reasons. Aside from the specialist catering equipment that may be involved when focusing on chocolate, the opening is not the only cocoa-focused enterprise setting foot in the UK.

Earlier this month, it was announced Australian chocolate cafe Theobroma will launch its first business in the country when it opens at the Touchwood shopping centre in the West Midlands. The lounge approach is different to the restaurant style of service offered by Rabot 1745 but both companies share a strong appreciation and focus for chocolate, which might even suggest the start of a growing trend.

Mr Thirlwell has said he will not stop at Rabot 1745, suggesting more chocolate-centric catering could be on the horizon. He also has a lot of experience and family history in the dessert field, as his father started Mr Whippy ice cream.ADNFCR-16001031-ID-801651599-ADNFCR

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