For further details and the menu for this event please see http://rococochocolates.com/blog/chocolate-week-tasting-at-hardy’s-brasserie-in-marylebone/
Upon arrival, we were sat at a ‘social table’, later to be occupied by friends and friends of, which, if a little intimidating at first, actually worked out quite well. Three courses for £15 is an absolute bargain anywhere decent, particularly if the menu offers some new and different choices. And Dominique’s menu certainly did. The recipes were taken from Chantal Coady’s book, now out of print, and featured chocolate one way or the other. My starter choice was Pigeon breast with white chocolate, saffron & cardamom, which sounded intriguing and challenging as pigeon is not one of my favourite game options.
Our mains arrived before long; I had bravely opted for Wild boar sausages with lentils, chocolate balsamic vinegar.
Dessert time brought Vanilla ice cream affogato with Rococo chocolate sauce for Robster and for me a more interesting Earl Grey Ganache.
This was my favourite thing of the night, it was absolutely superb, if lacking a little in presentation. The flavour of the Earl Grey was strong and wonderfully aromatic, while the chocolate dark enough. Very good indeed! After the meal, Rococo’s award winning “Prof du Choc” Laurent Couchaux & founder Chantal Coady gave a little introduction and presented the next part of the evening which was the wine and chocolate pairing.. and so we were presented with 5 glasses of different wines and 5 different pieces of assorted chocolates… they were all very good, both the chocs and the wines but my favourite piece has to be the White Cardamom bar, and I am not even a fan of white chocolate, yet its aroma and the perfume were fantastic.
My least favourite was the Sea Salt Wafer. It was milk chocolate (not my preference!) and did not have a spec of salt in it. I failed to ask Chantal if Rococo uses palm oil, but the tasting did initiate some interesting discussions on chocolate and people tastes, what are the best chocolates around and so forth.
A good night and another win from Hardy’s Brasserie and Dominique.
Just a note about the penultimate paragraph:
- Rococo would never use palm oil or anything like it even if it were healthy or sustainable (it isn’t either) as it would adversely affect the delicate melt property that cocoa butter in chocolate gives it’s magical mouth feel.
- One of the secrets of these wafers is the Halen Mon Anglesey sea salt, which brings out a slight fruity and flowery edge to the chocolate. We’re very sorry to learn that it wasn’t detectable on this occasion 🙁