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Sunday, 19 January 2014


Since Roast and Conch opened up last year just outside of Trinity Leeds, I've been dying to go. I've just returned to Leeds from Christmas break with a list of resolutions and places I must visit pre-Canada, Roast and Conch being high up on the list. Owned by Hotel Chocolat and the people behind Borough Markets Rabot 1745 (Also on the list), Roast and Conch uses cocoa and chocolate in almost all their dishes, drawing on cocoa's spicy and nutty components to enhance dishes. To start with we were offered two cocoa pods to break open, to help us get a feel for the flavours, the cocoa nibs were surprisingly yummy, tasting very nutty and hardly bitter as I expected. We then had an amuse-bouche of winter vegetable soup, much needed in chilly Leeds, this was of course garnished with some crushed cocoa pieces. To eat; I had the 'Boucanier' salad with rare seared tuna, cocoa pesto, soft boiled eggs and hazelnut truffles. Everything was cooked to perfection and looked stunning on the plate, even the cocoa pesto complimented the tuna steak, which I was worried would overwhelm the dish. The hazelnut truffles were delicious if a little confusing plonked next to some salad leaves and potatoes. They were very sweet and I had to eat them separately, tuna + chocolate is too experimental, even for me! I also, HAD to help myself to a dessert of course...named 'Magnificent Piton' after the mountains which overlook Hotel Chocolat's Caribbean estate. The dish consisted of a soft meringue, surrounded by a chocolate soup with flaked almonds and banana slices. It was of course delicious and extremely light (I could have had two!). The ambience of Roast and Conch is very relaxed and warming, and there is plenty to read or ask about cocoat; the menu pretty much offers up the history of Hotel Chocolat, which you can also take home and fold out into a poster. In addition to this, the menu offers plenty of selection in terms of food and drink; including a rum selection to keep Captain Jack Sparrow satisfied for life.  I would love to visit again or even just sit in the downstairs cafe- with a very intriguing sounding pot of Hot White Chocolate and Jasmine. To sum up; this is a must-visit, a brilliant mix of creativity and cocoa craziness.

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