In The Spotlight: Roast + ConchMonday, 13 October 2014
Last week I was invited down to Hotel Chocolat's restaurant Roast + Conch, it's somewhere I've been wanting to try for ages. First we took a look at some of the offerings from the main menu. The head chef was really keen to tell us about his carefully selected menu. There are lots of locally sourced ingredients and he has an open kitchen policy. Meaning you can see what is being made and if you really want you can go ask questions about the food. I really liked this approach, it adds to the relaxed atmosphere and helps you learn more about the food you're eating.
We were also treated to a cocktail - they have plenty of spirits infused with cocoa. It really is a different cocktail experience, so I'd suggest going down and trying some for yourself. There is something warming about the taste of cocoa in your drink, don't you think?
Next we were invited over to the chocolat lab to discover how they make some of the fabulous chocolate that you can buy in store. We looked at a process called 'tempering' which enables the chocolate to lower its temperature naturally. This process stops the chocolate from becoming a sticky mess and is easier to work with. Afterwards we were asked to guess the percentage of cocoa in a sample of chocolates - it's really hard to tell as they all had different flavours which were all described on their tasting tree. A few of the group were surprisingly good at it!
Finally we discovered where the namesake comes from, the actual roasting and conching of the beans. The one we were watching was in the process of being conched for 60 hours! I would really recommend popping into Roast + Conch, whether its for a drink, a meal or a chocolate experience your bound to leave with a smile on your face.