There are few things in life as utterly delectable as chocolate and fizz, so when an invite landed in my inbox offering me an evening of both you can bet your bottom dollar I was swift with my response!
Roast and Conch was first created by Hotel Chocolat in 2011 by chefs in the open-air cocoa-estate kitchen of a Boucan restaurant in Saint Lucia, Roast and Conch’s unique menu returns the cocoa bean to its rightful place as subtle savoury spice and garnish, and in 2013 it opened it doors in Leeds city centre.
I was one of the lucky few invited along to taste the stunning new menu, meet with the head chefs and sample the utterly mouth-watering cocktails.
However, my favourite flash of interior flare comes in the form of the neon signs dotted around both the bar downstairs and restaurant upstairs, they most certainly add to the decadence of the venue.
Enough about the decor though, more about the food and drink!
First up, on arrival was a glass of their in-house prosecco, which reinforced my love for the bubbly stuff, their own brand prosecco has fresh apple notes and a tang of apricot which cleansed my palette in preparation for the assortment of flavours on offer in the taster menus.
Every item on the Roast and Conch menu is seasoned with cacao, the raw form of chocolate, although I was unsure how chocolate could be included in savoury dishes I was pleasantly surprised that although cacao provides a depth of flavour, it doesn’t add any sweetness to the food.
Also, side note, did you know chocolate and cocoa are considered to be a rich source of antioxidants such as procyanidins and flavanoids, which may impart anti ageing properties, if that isn’t a great excuse to eat more, then Lordy I don’t know what is!
The savoury offerings all hinted at the St Lucian history the brand holds so dear, from the sharp yet dense buy zolt ambien online curry that surrounded the fresh cod, to the tuna topped with avocado, a brioche bun top and bottoming a moorish burger, and finally Roast and Conch take on Mac ‘n’ Cheese with mushroom all beautifully encased in cacao nib infused pastry.
Although I loved all three, the mac ‘n’ cheese is the best kind of comfort food, what more could you ask for, pastry, cheese and pasta?
After all that tastiness what could possibly be better than a tour of the Roast and Conch bar, learning all about the in-house spirits and getting our mitts on the delicacies the talented bar staff craft.
I went for a Rabot Rum Sour, a mingling of Golden rum, lime, nutmeg, cacao bitters, yummy!
The whole evening was a delight, chatting with passionate people full of drive and determination to create food and drink that fills people with joy, I left not only full to the brim I also grabbed myself one of the jam-packed swag bags. I thought I would show you the beautiful new Autumnal range from Hotel Chocolat.
My favourites have to be the Hazelnut Mini Mountain & the Apple Strudel, so tasty I struggled to share them with my mum who spent the whole next day eyeing them up!
Other treats in the Autumn Chocolate Selection include; Salted Soft Caramel, Florentine Isabelle, Crispy Praline & Treacle Tart.
The new Supermilk has all the pleasure of milk chocolate and all the power of dark. 65% of pure cocoa, a splash of milk and less sugar than a dark chocolate bar. The smooth, creamy flavour lingers on while the cocoa makes you feel focused, energised and on top of the world.
Centuries ago, Mayans revered the potent cocoa bean so much that it was worshipped as a gift from the gods, I must agree!
Big thank you to the whole team at Roast and Conch, inviting me along and spoiling me rotten, then sending me home with even more delights!
I am planning a trip back for dinner for my birthday with my mum later this month, that’s how much I love it!
Have you been yet? Do you love cooking with chocolate?