It’s Chocolate week! Around the UK tastings and events from the UK’s best chocolatiers are underway. To celebrate Gaucho restaurants have launched an chocolate inspired menu and recently I was lucky enough to attend an exclusive preview at the Gaucho Piccadilly.
Gaucho’s Chocolate Week will see the British love of chocolate combined with Argentina’s renowned beef and Malbec to create a memorable dining experience.
The first part of the evening entailed us being introduced to Malbec family of wines by Gaucho sommelier Ian O’Reilly before going on to taste them with different flavoured chocolates.
The first chocolate we tasted was a 70% dark chocolate chosen to highlight the classic match between Malbec and chocolate. The bitterness of the chocolate was countered by the sweetness of the tannins that Malbec is so famous for. The second chocolate was coffee and vanilla flavoured and was chosen to extract the oak influence of the Vina Patricia Malbec. The final and most controversial choice of the evening was the violet flavoured chocolate. Malbec is extremely well known for its floral characteristics with violets always present. The violet chocolate was chosen due to its strong character. It highlighted the Malbec’s ability to tone down the strength of the chocolate whilst the chocolate lifted the floral side of the wine. I have to say out of all the chocolates I enjoyed the Coffee and Vanilla most for its silky feel on the pallet.
After this it was time to eat and boy we were in for a treat! The first course of braised beef cheeks with lamb sweetbread popcorn in almonds and breadcrumbs, humita and chocolate jus was delicious, for me there was just the hint of the chocolate which worked well with humita.
The next course was slow cooked pork belly, white chocolate and vanilla mashed potato and chocolate chilli pork. I was worried the chocolate would be overpowering but it complemented the pork beautifully and chilli gave the dish a nice kick.
The menu ended on a high with a gorgeous desert of white chocolate mousse with milk chocolate crumble, fresh and frozen fruits and almond praline served with a glass of Zuccardi Port Malbec. I polished off every bit of the desert and the zucardi provided a perfect blend of sweetness to compliment the white chocolate moose.
The Gaucho’s Chocolate Week Menu costs £65pp and is available at all 14 Gaucho until Saturday 20th October so hurry!
For bookings for the Chocolate Week Menu, please contact your local Gaucho restaurant www.gauchorestaurants.com