Dining out is one of my favourite things to do. I try to dine out at least once a week and even though I love finding new places, like most people, I have my favourites. Roast and Conch is one of my all time favourite restaurants which is why I keep going back. I've probably eaten here at least 8 times now and this certainly won't be my last time. Not only is Roast and Conch one of my favourite restaurants, but Hotel Chocolat is my favourite chocolate brand. It adds up then, that Roast and Conch is Hotel Chocolat's restaurant. If you've been reading EmTalks for a while, you'll know just how much I adore all things Hotel Chocolat but also, you'll know that I'm a lover of good food, obsessed with cocktails and also, into my fitness too (weird combo huh?). I know that chocolate and fitness don't really go together but Roast and Conch is designed around the bean, the richest tasting part of chocolate, so don't worry, even though this is sometimes described as a 'chocolate restaurant' you're actually just getting the best flavours rather than the nasty calories. Come join me for a date night...
This particular (and my regular) Roast and Conch is in Leeds but they have others in London too. Tucked away and then up some stairs, if you blinked, you'd miss it.
Date night calls for a black dress, similar online here, here and here. Teamed with my trusty leather jacket - online here, my Burberry bag and Burberry scarf to keep me warm.
On arrival, you're taught about the cacao bean and invited to try it.
The menu had changed since my last visit but was still just as good.
The restaurant was still as nice. It's a calm restaurant but one where you can dress up or down, I love that. I love getting dressed up though so tend to head to places where it's fine to get a bit dressy.
We chose some cocktails, a martini for Matt and I went for a nice fruity punch. Mine was so tasty and oozed Summer whilst Matt's was a little more on the strong side! We were warned by our lovely waitress though.
Next up, champagne because I can never say no to a little bit of fizz.
For starters, Matt went for the chicken (which for some reason I cannot find on the menu anymore now I look?!) he liked it, but said it was cold (it was meant to be cold) so he kind of wishes he went for something else.
Then again, anyone would get food envy over my meal. I went for the Yorkshire pudding filled with glazed pulled pork, white chocolate mash and cacao red wine gravy. It was strong but perfect, the rich flavours went so well together and I am such a Yorkshire pudding lover, I always add at least 5 to my plate when it's Sunday dinner time. As a Yorkshire girl, I simply had to get this.
Imagine pouring rich dark chocolate and wine over a crunchy piece of dough with mash - heaven, that's what you get.
For the mains, Matt went for the chopped rump steak burger which comes with aged cheddar, cacao beer braised onions and potato chips. I've tried the burger before and think it tastes amazing, I'm a huge steak lover as most of you will know by now so trust me when I say this is amazing. I'd probably eat it by itself, without the meat. The chips though are just epic, I've never tasted such yummy chips in my life and I'm usually a fan of crispy chips.
I went for ground provision (West Indian vegetables grown in the ground) coconut run-down with cacao rice and peas, sweet potato and spinach nib dhal and spiced tomato relish. I always go for vegetarian dishes accidentally but this was so filling and just what I needed. It's almost like a vegetarian curry and it just tastes incredible.
Those chips again - we had to get some extra on the side because they were so good. They came with cacao ketchup which is possibly the best invention ever, it tastes kinda spicy. I had to buy some from the shop afterwards to take home!
The white chocolate mash: this is just heaven and should be served everywhere. I'm a mash lover and honestly could eat bowls of this. I can't actually explain what it tastes like apart from creamy heaven...
Dessert is my favourite though. Gone is the sharing board where you choose your own chocolates that they use to have (sob, I loved this) but instead, you can order a tray of chocolates which honestly all taste incredible. We halfed each one. I'm such a chocoholic so this was perfect.
We also tried the mousses. I love mousse and when in Hotel Chocolat, I feel like you have to go for the most chocolatey thing on the menu for dessert. They come in different cacao %'s and I actually enjoyed each one, particularly the strongest one. I can't even explain how good they taste, not sickly but just indulgent and heavenly. That 'melt in your mouth' I don't want to stop eating kinda yummy.
We sat and chatted for a long time until we decided we should probably leave. I love restaurants with a chilled out vibe, the kind of ones you can just sit and relax in whilst indulging on amazing food. If you love good food with top quality ingredients, amazing service and like trying something new, Hotel Chocolat's Roast and Conch is most definitely for you. I love a place where you can get dressed up, eat amazing things, drink amazing cocktails and just relax.
Do you like the sound of this? What's your favourite restaurant? Have you ever tried Roast & Conch? Do you like Hotel Chocolat? Are you a chocoholic too?
Lots of love, Em x