If like me, you’ve been looking for a Sydney restaurant that is male friendly with big juicy, delicious steaks but also offers you salads and lighter options, look no further – I have finally found the answer. Chophouse.
Chophouse is designed as a contemporary adaptation of the New York style steakhouse, and David Clarke’s (Executive Chef) passion for produce and sustainability shines through not only in the menu – but in the restaurant’s design itself – and his close relationship with not only his suppliers but his customers as well.
From the outside, Chophouse is a large unassuming building, and has it roots as an abattoir in the 1920’s, but when you walk in you are almost transported into a different world with rustic tables, old washboards and chalk boards hanging from the walls. The interior of the building has been artistically designed to represent a bull, with the head for the bull at the bar, the body shown through the restaurant through the numerous “ribs” placed along the roof.
I arrived quite early in the evening and was surprised to find that the restaurant already had quite a few tables seated. My partner and I were shown to a booth and as soon as I looked at the menu i knew why – the menu was fantastically set out. The entrees were fresh, seasonal, and light to balance with the heavier steaks on the menu, as well as having a good variety of options to suit every taste, and hunger.
After talking with the waiter, we decided to share a few different dishes and, decided on the Hiramasa Kingfish Ceviche and the Fig and Jamon Salad to start followed by the Glazed Beef Short Ribs and Dry Aged Delmonico for our mains with a Crisp Pork Belly and Sea Scallop Salad to share as well.
The entrees arrived and the Ceviche was lovely, light and fresh topped with a mixture of organic flowers including violets, forage, nasturtium and elderflower, with a sprinkling of Avruga Caviar on the plate also. The simplicity highlighted the flavours of the Kingfish and I couldn’t have asked for more.
The Fig and Jamon salad was also fresh and delicious with beautifully ripe and in season figs paired with Serrano Jamon, goats curd and baby beetroot, also offset with elderflowers. The Serrano Jamon was delicious, and can also be found on the bar menu, and the combination of the ingredients was a perfect start to a meal.
While I was waiting for the stars of the evening, we spotted a diamond on the menu, a large cut of meat being walked to a table nearby. I was told it is the Tomohawk, a cut of meat that usually averages 1.5 kilograms, and is normally shared by a group on the table, however David Clarke (executive chef) told me it has also been attempted alone on many an occasion, and if you complete the Chophouse Challenge successfully, receive a prize.
When our mains arrived, the meat looked so succulent and tender that I was almost salivating. Both meats came to the table sliced to make the meat easier to access and aide the sharing process.
The Glazed Beef Short Rib arrives at the table succulent and falling off the bone. Braised for 3 hours and then spending hours in the oven being marinated with the Chophouse’s own sweet BBQ sauce, resulted in a delicious choice.
Our other choice, the Delmonico steak was perfection, aged 3-4 weeks and is a pasture-fed animal which David Clarke advises provides more flavour than regular grain-fed meat. This was amazing and a highlight of the evening for me, and if this is anything to go by I would love to try the other steaks on the menu as well.
Our side for the evening, the Pork Belly and Sea Scallop Salad, could be a main in itself, the pork belly and sea scallop were both perfectly cooked combined with Chinese cabbage, coriander, pea shoots and a soy vinaigrette. Pork Crackling, which is a weakness of mine, was also cooked wonderfully, a perfect light side to match with the weight behind the beef.
After finishing our mains, we looked over the the dessert menu and I hesitated. I was feeling full but there were so many items that were tempting me. House-churned ice cream, Fig, Ricotta & Almond Frangipane tart, a scrumptious cheese collection. What we finally decided on was the Caramelised Banana Cheesecake and Amaretto & Sour Cherry Semi Freddo, with a tasting of the Chophouse Chocolate block, which came highly recommended by the staff.
The Semi Freddo was amazing with the almond and sour cherry flavours combining perfectly together, but I couldn’t go past the Caramelised Banana Cheesecake which was so beautifully made (and at $8 very affordable) that my partner didn’t want to share it, a high regard as he normally dislikes cheesecakes.
The Chophouse chocolate as well was delicious, with the chocolates all made on site. At the moment the current flavours being Top Deck (with an Orange blossom marmalade in the centre), Caramelised Hazelnuts, and Honeycomb. The caramelised hazelnut being our choice on the night but tasted so devine we had to buy the others to take home and try.
All in all, the Chophouse is a restaurant with something for everyone from salads to steaks and yummy desserts, and I couldn’t fault the food or the service. I will definitely be going back again for a meal, or even take a detour for some more chocolate to take away.
25 Bligh St, Sydney 2000 Australia
1300 246 748