Roast + ConchSaturday saw me being invited to review Hotel Chocolat’s restaurant Roast + Conch in Leeds-their second fine dining restaurant in the UK with the first in Borough Market, London and the original created in 2011 in the open air cocoa estate kitchen of their Boucan restaurant in Saint Lucia (can’t think why they didn’t want to send me to the there can you?!!))

Next time!

Honest Mum

(Wearing gifted dress from Great Plains with a seashell Saint Lucian inspired print-live on Friday on Mummysgostyle.com)

The Leeds branch was staggeringly beautiful none the less…who needs Saint Lucia hey…

With Peter, my husband and photographer extraordinaire behind the camera taking shots between courses (well he had to work for his lunch didn’t he)… this might well have been the best date of all time!

Entering through the exquisite side tracking chocolate boutique on the ground floor, the second floor, upstairs houses a sit down restaurant for some serious Anglo-West cocoa fuelled dining.

A destination restaurant, this place is utterly ideal for dates, girly parties and special occasions and what a beauty it is too!

Roast + Conch-Honest mum

Roast and Conch-Honest Mum

Roast + Conch-Honest Mum

In chic, modern and tranquil surroundings, we chose a welcoming table by the window..

Every dish on the menu features West Indian herbs and roasted cocoa and you’re offered to try the roasted cocoa on arrival (below).

roasted cocoa-Honest Mum Having produced a documentary on chocolate at uni, I was aware of the history of cocoa and its use in savoury cuisine for thousands of years but I’d never actually sat down and eaten it in dishes at a restaurant until Saturday! And let me tell you, I wasn’t disappointed…

Vicki-Honest Mum

First off, the food at Roast + Conch is made from beans roasted and conched by chocolatiers on site, hence their name!

I must also state as the dishes are made with quality, high percentage cocoa too, you never get a sugar rush or crash and feel energised with every bite!…

With sparkling water and a Bloody Mary to kick off proceedings, followed by ‘the kind my mother makes’ style sweet potato and butternut squash amuse-bouches topped with cocoa nibs and chilli oil, we were both excited for what was to come…

water-Honest Mum

Bloody Mary-Honest Mum

Then it was time for some cocoa nib bread and dips with the heavenly chocolate balsamic I fell for: a perfect marriage of flavours made in chocolate heaven-part sweet, part savoury, it literally danced on my tongue, tickling my tastebuds and I simply had to request more, dipping my sweet potato ribbons (cooked in cocoa butter) with my main course later on! DIVINE!

cocoa nib bread-Honest Mum

dips-Honest Mum

The most moorishly good cocoa balsamic!

cocoa balsamic-Honest Mum

chocolate balsamic dip-Honest Mum

cocoa dip-Honest Mum

dips-Honest Mum…Below is a little dish of cocoa pesto my husband demolished with bread-sadly nuts dislike me so I skipped that one!

dip-Honest Mum

Then it was starters or ‘Small Tastes’ as they call them, a Crab and Callaloo Broth for Peter, a delicate, light coconut broth with flaked crab, okra, spinach (callaloo in Saint Lucian) and mild chilli. Delicious!

crab and callaloo broth-Honest Mum

I opted for the vegetable carpaccio, thinly sliced veggies with balsamic-cocoa dressing, beetroot puree and nibbled cheese bread. Refreshing, tasty, seasonal bites in a tangy sauce with crunchy bread which made for the perfect starter!

new season vegetable carpaccio-Honest Mum

new season vegetable carpaccio-Honest Mum

My main course was a cocoa-marinated chunky rib eye of beef, a beautiful fillet steak (locally reared and 28 day aged no less) marinated in cocoa nibs and accompanied by sauteed spinach, ground provision gratin and a creamy cocoa nib and rum pepper sauce I loved.

The sweet, crunchy garlic it was garnished with, were caramelised bites of wonderment too!

steak-Honest Mum

Steak-Honest Mum

Steak-Honest Mum

A dish from their Boucan restaurant in Saint Lucia, it took me to the Caribbean instantly.

What a hunk of steak, huh?!

steak-Honest Mum

 

My pescatarian husband opted for the fish roti, Roast + Conch’s spin on a traditional Saint Lucian staple.

A homemade cocoa nip wrap of fish filled with ground provision vegetables, slowly cooked in curried coconut sauce, cocoa pilau rice, sweet potato ribbons, raita and green leaf salad, it is glorious sunshine on a

Hotel Chocolat-Honest MumLook at these pretties

sweet potato ribbons-Honest Mum

fish roti-Honest Mum

…Fear not though, there was still room (only just) for the pièce de résistance of the meal-you guessed it, the desserts! It had to be Chocolate Lava molten cake for me, a chocolate sponge dome served on cacao nib-infused ice cream which happened to be the most splendid chocolate creation I’ve ever eaten. Fact.

chocolate lava cake-Honest Mum

chocolate lava cake-Honest MumFood porn at its finest…

chocolate lava cake-Honest Mum

And more. You’re welcome…

chocolate lava cake-Honest MumWe also shared (begrudgingly) a Roast + Conch Mousse Cake, made downstairs from single estate cocoa beans, with a hint of coffee, vanilla ice cream and chocolate rice crispies that I could have eaten forever…

Mousse cake-Honest Mum

Mousse cake-Honest Mum

mousse cake-Honest MumThen it was coffee o’clock for fine cappuccino and espresso…

coffee-Honest Mum

coffee-Honest Mum

We literally (and sadly) had no more room after that cocoa feast of a meal for more but I had to share their Tray of Temptation, where you can choose from 16 creations lovingly made from their chocolatiers.

A stellar chocolate hit to end your magnificent meal on!

chocolate tray-Honest Mum…With knowledgeable, friendly service, stunning surroundings and the most sumptuously splendid food, you’ll never quite have an experience like it-unless you head to their flagship restaurant in Saint Lucia of course (hint hint)…

Simply WOW!

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30 Responses

  1. Mrs Darling

    Oh my goodness this looks and sounds amazing! I was overexcited when we gained a Hotel Chocolat branch in Liverpool last Christmas and then it became a cafe in the summer but I didn’t realise they did fine dining! Actually heaven for chocoholics!! 🙂 Stunning photos x
    Mrs Darling recently posted…Luscious Lemony Lemon Drizzle CakeMy Profile

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Thanks so much, they have one in Leeds, London and Saint Lucia, thinking they should send me to SL next don’t you reckon?! x

      Reply
  2. Kiddy Reviews

    I am such a foodie and this place is now next on my list. If not in Leeds, I may have to visit the one in London. Nom nom nom Thanks for sharing on #britmumsreviews
    Kiddy Reviews recently posted…Infant & Child First Aid – Video TutorialsMy Profile

    Reply
  3. Vicki Montague

    OK that is just plain cruel!!! I am a huge fan of ‘proper’ chocolate and this looks like my version of heaven!! All those photos have made me drool. How lucky are you having a photographer husband?! He certainly earned his meal! Thanks for making me incredibly jealous! 😉
    Vicki Montague recently posted…My Free-From Camping Survival Guide!My Profile

    Reply
  4. Izzie Anderton

    A fabulous restaurant for anyone who’s a chocoholic! All looks perfect to me!!
    Izzie Anderton recently posted…The Sunshine AwardMy Profile

    Reply
  5. Harry

    Looks absolutely fabulous! Definitely will be trying this place out next weekend. Thank you for sharing can’t wait!

    Reply
  6. MummyTries

    Vicki, you really do have THE best job in the entire world lovely lady! This place sounds heavenly, and your hubby’s photos really do the review justice. Good luck with getting out to St. Lucia xx
    MummyTries recently posted…Competition: Win a £50 voucher for Skatehut!My Profile

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  7. Julie's Family Kitchen

    Oh my, what an amazing dining experience. Everything looks absolutely delicious. I really like the sound of the cocoa balsamic, I’m going to see if they sell it in store. Stunning photos too.
    Julie’s Family Kitchen recently posted…Chocolate and Ginger CookiesMy Profile

    Reply
  8. Ebabee

    My mouth is literally watering. I want to eat everything on this page. And the restaurant looks amazing – love the whole industrial vibe. I MUST try the Borough Market branch – feeling so hungry now 🙂 Amazingly stunning photos too. You can almost taste the food, they are that good.
    Ebabee recently posted…Duchess + Lion: Super cool kids clothesMy Profile

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  9. Potty Mouthed Mummy

    Oh my word this looks divine!!! So hungry now. Love the nautical dress too 😉 xxx
    Potty Mouthed Mummy recently posted…Smoked Salmon & Courgette PappardelleMy Profile

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Thanks darling, the dress is so cute with its shell print-a full post on it will be on my style blog soon! THe restaurant is insanely good!

      Reply
  10. Choclette

    What a fabulous evening. Your pictures are great and the food very well presented. Since starting my blog, I’ve made quite a lot of savoury chocolate dishes, but I don’t think any of them are on a par with these. I think I’m going to have to wangle myself a review invite for next time I’m in London.

    Your chocolate documentary sounds interesting. What was your degree?
    Choclette recently posted…Fasulye with Dukkah Roasted TofuMy Profile

    Reply
    • honestmum

      @Choclette, truly wonderful restaurant, first degree-BA was in Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, specialising in Journalism and Documentary, MA was in Screen Direction (directed a short film) before a career as a screenwriter and director (now a full time professional blogger).

      Reply
  11. Steph@MisplacedBrit

    I am literally going to fly/drive to Leeds for this restaurant!!! Love your review – they made a great choice inviting you & your personal photographer 🙂

    Reply

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