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Matt Jameson checks into Hotel Chocolat Leeds

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Matt-35-3Local thespian and socialite Matthew Jameson heads to Hotel Chocolat to sample the finer things in life and their new spring menu

Would I like to go and try out Hotel Chocolat’s new restaurant menu? Yes please! What a question to ask as I’ve never had the pleasure of dinning at Hotel Chocolat’s restaurant Roast & Conch and so this was the perfect opportunity to indulge in the finer things in life… chocolate! 

Situated in the heart of the city just a stone’s throw from the train station and part of Trinity Leeds, you can see the rustic and warm inviting ambiance as you approach, walking through the famous Hotel Chocolat shop desperately resisting everything on offer. Walking up the gorgeous wooden staircase into the delightful restaurant greeted by the light sweet aroma teases your taste buds and you know you’re in for an amazing treat. The waitress seats us in a very comfortable booth and enlightens us on the new menu and what her top recommendations would be. She then proceeds to show us the origin of chocolate with the cocoa bean and the delicious nibs inside when you break the shell, crack away.

As we sip a refreshing glass of prosecco we study the menu whilst taking in the surroundings feeling relaxed and chilled ready to enjoy everything Roast & Conch has to offer.

With an array of mouth-watering dishes the decision on courses isn’t easy with starters such as Pulled Pork Bonbons and Cacao and Treacle Cured Salmon but our minds are made up. Creole Spiced Fish Cakes with Thousand Island Cacao Sauce is as delicious as it sounds with just the right amount of spice to give a kick in your mouth. Perfectly complimented with the Thousand Island Sauce this is right up my street and if you’re a fan of fish cakes this is the one for you. The Pickled Courgette Salad with Sweet Potato, Crispy Onions and Feta-Cacao Whip also arrives looking delicious with refreshing tastes and cheese with chocolate, my two favourite things!

As the main courses arrive we are blown away by the attention to detail with outstanding presentation, these dishes look too good to eat! The Cacao Burger and Bois Bande Marinated Chicken look and sound amazing but my mouth was drawn to the Cacao Braised Beef Cheek with Herb Crust Garlic Confit and Estate Dark Chocolate Gravy. The beef was unbelievable and just melts in your mouth, the succulent cacao flavour oozes through with the perfect balance of bitter sweet. Topped off with my favourite type of chocolate in a rich gravy, fantastic! Loin of Venison with Cinnamon-cacao Crust, Parsnip White Chocolate Puree, Blackberry Gel and Estate Dark Chocolate Jus would not be my first choice as I’ve never tried Venison before. It arrived looking outstanding and cooked to perfection, I really couldn’t resist. The tender meat was beautiful, complemented by an array of tastes and flavours including again my favourite, dark chocolate.

Now this could be said the most important part of the meal, dessert! This will be tricky as with such an irresistible selection including Sticky Toffee Chocolate Pudding and The Rabot Mousse Selection how could we possibly choose just one? It had to be the BAFTA 2017 Dessert as served at the British Film Awards dinner earlier this year. Buffalo Supermilk Mousse, Blueberry & Raspberry White Cremeux and Pumpkin Seed Granola make this an absolute triumph, balancing all different textures and flavours on the chocolate spectrum. Everyone at the Film Awards had an amazing treat which you can also now indulge in. Their Signature Molten Chocolate Lava Pudding with Rabot Ice Cream, also a taste explosion and taking 10 minutes to prepare and cook is well worth the wait.

Following this extraordinary journey of chocolate tastes and flavours we then sampled the new Salted Caramel Vodka with Cocoa beans which complimented our meal no end. All the food, flavours and setting for the gorgeous evening are out of this world and as we are fast approaching the chocolate weekend of the year at Easter, go on and treat yourself to this indulgent masterpiece for food delight.

Break a leg!

Matt

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