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It was with mild trepidation that I went through the doors of Room Restaurant last week for a new product launch. After the Dr Oetkar pop-up palava which hit Twitter and the press last week I hoped that I wasn’t going to be embroiled in a PR versus bloggers game of cat and mouse.
I needn’t have feared. It was one of the most well organised, civilised and fun events I’ve ever been to with my blogging hat on.
The occasion was to launch a new luxury yoghurt product to bloggers, and the company were Chobani.
I’ve eaten at Room a few times, but wasn’t aware of the Rose Room until now. It’s a lovely sized private dining room tucked away in the back of the dining room. Amy and Christine, the London-based comms team for Chobani greeted us in there with cocktails and mocktails (using some of their yoghurt of course) and I was quickly at ease. There were only a handful of guests, a good mix of food and lifestyle bloggers. A quick round-table intro led to me putting faces to some familiar Twitter names which was great.
So to fill you in on the product at this point, Chobani is a strained yoghurt – like Greek yoghurt but obviously not Greek. The taste is really rich – even the 0% fat flavours which I’ve tried- and it is high in protein which makes a pot really filling.
Our hosts gave us the background to the brand. Owner Hamdi Ulukaya went to America to learn English and created a multi-million pound brand! Apparently he still sources ingredients himself from hand picked suppliers around the world.
Amy and Christine were keen to showcase how their product can be used as an ingredient as well as a snack, so they had worked with the chefs at Room to create us a stunning three course dinner.
To start, I had prawn and crab cocktail. The prawns were in an air-light batter on a bed of dressed crab. The yoghurt was in a light guacamole but it was such a teeny dot on the plate I must admit I couldn’t taste the quac, never mind the yoghurt.
Being a total greedy guts I chose the steak option for my mains. A perfectly medium-rare sirloin with chips and a beef fritter. A jug of béarnaise was made lighter with the addition of yoghurt and I must admit I really liked it. I love a good béarnaise but sometimes it can be over-facing, so this it a good idea which I will try at home.
I picked chocolate and yoghurt for dessert, thinking it would be a lighter option but when a thick slice of chocolate marquise appeared in front of me, I feared I would be defeated. Served with yoghurt ice cream (not frozen yoghurt!) and a yoghurt puree. The ice cream helped cut through the chocolate but it defeated me and I couldn’t finish it.
Throughout dinner we talked about everything: yoghurt (obvs), supper clubs, work, diet, restaurants and more. Amy and Christine were obviously passionate about their product, but they are real foodies too so conversation flowed easily.
By the end of the night we’d exchanged Twitter profiles and promises to keep in touch. Our hosts genuine love of their product was infectious and I’m looking forward to eating and cooking with it (shame I can only buy in one shop near me at the mo though).
Thanks Chobani and Room for a great night.