Chocolate Week: London restaurants go crazy for cocoa

For the next few days, expect the nation to go a bit loopy for chocolate fountains, chocolate cocktails, and a certain twist on afternoon tea. For the 9th to the 15th of October is Chocolate Week. Keen to get involved, these London restaurants are offering up a special dish, twist, or entire menu based on chocolate.

Galvin Restaurants – Chris and Jeff Galvin’s restaurants have outdone themselves this year. In collaboration with top-of-the-line chocolatier Valrhona, they will be serving bespoke desserts across all five of their London restaurants, including a café noir bourbon chocolate delice at Galvin at Windows and a twist on the classic Poire belle Hélene, encased in a chocolate sphere, at Galvin Bistrot de Luxe.

New Street Grill – Offering something of an alternate perspective on the potential of chocolate (rather than the usual dessert or petit fours, for example), executive head chef of this D&D restaurant has devised a seasonal dish of venison with parsnip puree, raspberries and chocolate sauce.

Ormer – Not content with fashioning just a special dish or two, Mayfair restaurant Ormer has taken inspiration from Chocolate Week to create an entire menu on the theme. Chef Shaun Rankin joins forces with master chocolatier Paul A. Young to create a three-course menu including a dish of hand-dived scallop with cod, Guittard white chocolate shavings, cauliflower, blood orange and Fourme d’Ambert.

OXBO Bankside – Modern British cooking is at the crux of OXBO – something they’re keen to carry through Chocolate Week. The restaurant is putting on a special set menu of dishes like cocoa-infused blade of steak with violette potato mousseline and duck heart, butternut velouté with white chocolate cream, and chocolate mousse with banana sorbet gel.

Corrigan’s Mayfair – For one week only, the widely-revered Corrigan’s is adding a flourish to its menu in the form of a Gianduja chocolate (similar to praline) tart. Meanwhile, Dickie’s – the restaurant bar – is laying on a milk chocolate and rum-based cocktail for its guests.

Avista – This Italian establishment in Mayfair has taken inspiration from Chocolate Week, coming up with a dish of smoked squib pigeon served with fig, celeriac, chocolate soil and light chocolate sauce.

The Anthologist – The Anthologist, near Guildhall, is rolling out a trio of chocolate-themed desserts this week. Dishes making full use of chocolate mousse, raspberry and brownie, and white chocolate ice cream on cookie crumbs will grace the menu, alongside a one-off chocolate G&T.

The Refinery Bankside – At the top of many a chocoholic’s to-do list should be a visit to The Refinery, where there’s a free chocolate fountain to dip into and a whisky flight – including whiskies from Nikka, Singleton, and Buffalo Trace ­– each paired with chocolates.

Galvin at The Athenaeum – Another Galvin-run establishment gets a chocolate makeover this week, but this one’s a little different. Afternoon tea at The Athenaeum hotel gets a chocolate-themed upgrade with additions like raspberry tart with Orelys ganache, and mille-feuille with dark Morant Bay chocolate cremeux.

This is a guest post from freelance food journalist Hugh Thomas. He’s contributed to Foodism, Time Out, Great British Chefs, and is part of British Street Food’s small team of vigilant writers. Find him on twitter @hughwrites.