|Value for money|
I was pretty excited to review Chop House as my sister-in-law (a self-proclaimed foodie) had spoken positively about the food. The sun was actually making an appearance, which only boosted my mood further. All in all, this was set to be a positive meal.
Chop House has a very nice layout as the bar is on the ground floor while the dining area is on the first floor. Separating these two areas means that you don’t feel rushed to begin dining and can actually make the meal into an experience.
My friend and I spent a wee while catching up in the downstairs bar. I’m currently off the booze (unfortunately) so I was on mock-tails for the evening. I didn’t even have to browse the cocktail menu, but could just tell the bartender if I wanted sour or sweet. As someone who gets overwhelmed with choices, it’s quite nice to be able to just have someone make you a drink—especially when that drink turns out to be pretty awesome. For those lucky individuals that can drink, my dining companion spoke positively about her cocktails.
After enjoying the downstairs bar, we made our way to the dining room. After a long day at work, I was absolutely famished. We began our meal by ordering the bread with bone marrow butter. I have never previously eaten bone marrow so it was certainly an experience and I don’t have much to compare it to. My dining companion, who was much more familiar with bone marrow, wasn’t that thrilled by it. But, as the waitress stated bone marrow butter is an acquired taste—like Marmite.
The waitress was incredibly helpful and provided quite a lot of useful information and recommendations for our meal. She recommended that we each try one of the shrimp tempura with bloody mary ketchup; roast scallops with white port and garlic butter; and lightly fried oysters with shallots, vinegar, and Tabasco. I was very glad that we followed her recommendation as each of these three dishes was absolutely brilliant in their own way. They were tastefully served on granite serving platters and in their shells (even the lightly fried oysters). The flavours were spot on and the tempura batter was expertly done, which can be a relatively difficult thing to get right. I was very pleased with our starter and only wished that I had ordered more!
For mains, we both had the sirloin steak. I ordered mine medium rare, while my dining companion ordered hers rare to blue. My steak was cooked to medium rare, but unfortunately my dinning companion’s steak was cooked more medium rare than blue. However, even with the small error, both steaks were deliciously succulent. As recommended, we also ordered dipping sauces for our steaks. I had the chimichurri sauce while my dinning companion had the peppercorn. If it hadn’t been recommended, I probably wouldn’t have thought to order a sauce, but was very glad that I had. The chimichurri sauce gave the steak a nice mild heat from the spice and complemented the steak beautifully.
It was also recommended that we order sides so we both had the dripping chips while I had the cabbage and bacon and my dining companion had the asparagus. Each of these dishes were great accompaniments, but the dripping chips were beyond exceptional. I could have eaten another portion!
As my sweet tooth is currently out of control, we of course couldn’t resist the dessert menu. All of the desserts looked amazing and I would have loved to have eaten the salted caramel fondue to myself (despite it being a sharing portion). My dining companion and I decided to share two desserts as we had such a hard time choosing. We ultimately selected the gooey chocolate brownie with burnt marmalade cream and coal roasted apple cheesecake with lemon sorbet. The gooey chocolate brownie had a nice crispy outside, but could have done with a fraction less time in the oven. The coal roasted apple cheesecake was served in a glass dish and was more of a contemporary take on a cheesecake. As a traditionalist, it wasn’t hugely taken by the modern spin, but I’m pretty sure that this was a personal opinion and other people would have loved it.
Overall, we had a fantastic experience at Chop House. The dining staff were exceptional and we could really take our time to enjoy the food. I love slow, relaxed meals with excellent food and this is exactly what the experience we had at Chop House. It would be a fantastic date (romantic or otherwise) location as the food is excellent, the ambiance is friendly, and it is relaxed enough for intimate conversation.
ARCH 15, East Market Street, Edinburgh
Telephone: 0131 629 1551