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Saturday, 28 December 2013

Bar Chocolat with Blanch & Shock and Bompas & Parr

Monday September 16th - Midway through my first day back teaching at school over 4 months ago, I got an email from Barchick saying I had won two tickets to the last night of the Bar Chocolat popup that evening.  Luckily my plans had just been cancelled so I got hold of List Leader Natalie who was up for it.

We joined a queue of excited Londoners on Earlham Street, ready for a 3 course meal from experimental foodies Blanch & Shock and Bompas & Parr, inspired by an indulgent new liquid chocolate liqueur from Baileys called Chocolat Luxe.

On entering, we passed through three art installations before we reached the Chocolat Luxe bar.


Bompass & Parr installation
Chocolat Luxe bar & Microleaf Canapé
After a quick look around, the dining room was revealed and we sat down.  We found ourselves sitting next to knowledgeable Food & Drink-o-phile, Wilkes McDermid, whom I have met many times since.  

Our first course was a fascinating & tasty mix of seafood and vegetables, all served on ice with wooden pincers.  See the menu below for details!  Wine was smartly paired with the food throughout the evening.


The first course was impressive, but the second course was spectacular.  Food and theatre combined as an army of waiters created a unique work of edible art right in front of our eyes.  I had heard good things about Blanch & Shock and they lived up to the hype with this flashy feast.


It was a really fun and sociable way to eat, though you almost didn't want to move any of the food!  Several ingredients were in a "no-mans land" area which I fought over with a complete stranger.  I obviously didn't take on Natalie, you know what those northerners are like.



For the sweet course, Blanch & Shock passed the baton over to Bompas & Parr.  We started by coating our lips in gold leaf, before taking on a variety of miniature puddings that were spread around the bar area, whilst drinking a glass of Chocolat Luxe (served Rococo style with a raspberry).  



The Chocolat Luxe itself isn't really my thing, but it will appeal to a lot of people.  It could be used in a variety of ways but is probably best served as an after dinner treat, as it was by Bompas & Parr.


Thanks to Barchick for the tickets, and to B&S and B&P for the theatrical spread.  Keep an eye on all of their websites for exciting future projects, of which I'm sure there will be many in 2014.

What am I drinking this week?

Alcohol seemed to be the prevailing theme from my Christmas presents this year, and I am now the proud owner of some wonderful spirits, including Oriental-spiced Opihr Gin, a bottle of smoky Peat Monster Whisky and some incredible "El Carrizal" Anejo Tequila Ocho (which would convert any tequila absconder). I have also finally got some Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters and Mozart Chocolate Bitters for my back bar, both very different and useful.  There were several more more mini gins, beers and liqueurs which Twitter followers have been busy trying to identify over the festive period.  

Christmas came early a couple of weeks ago in the form of a bottle of Ruby Blue Wild Blackcurrant liqueur, one of four new bottle-aged liqueurs from Northern Ireland.  They also produce Wild Blueberry, Cranberry and a Chilli Pepper liqueur.  In a nice touch, every bottle contains the berries which have been added to the distilled Irish grain spirit, and every bottle has been aged for at least three months.  My Wild Blackcurrant liqueur is very drinkable on its own, and is also a great substitute for Cassis in a Kir Royale.  Head over to Gerry's to get your hands on your own bottle.


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