Sunday, 23 January 2011

Chophouse, Sydney CBD

Old New York steakhouse vibe

Chophouse is the sister restaurant of Kingsley's Steak House, located in the business district in Sydney CBD.
Last I dined here was back in June 2009 - didn't realize it had been that long !!
So when Sarah Ashmore from Pacific Restaurant Group invited me to dine at Chophouse, I was very much looking forward to it and managed to "drag" a more than willing friend to come along ^_^ 

Rustic Decor

The concept of Chophouse is to bring the good quality meats, seafood and big salads (they are not joking about big salad here, as you will see later in the post) to Sydneysiders.
I love how rustic the decor is, inspired by old New York steakhouses with cosy and private booths covered in distressed leather, while recycled timber and iron clad walls were used throughout the dining room. 

Table Setting & Seasonal Specials

It was midweek when we dined at Chophouse, so as expected the restaurant was packed with suit cladded businessmen and women, winding down in the outdoor bar area or having dinner with colleagues inside.
We were greeted at the front desk by the very happy Aaron who brought us to our booth. 
Not long after, the charming and very knowledgeable Adrian came over explaining their new Summer specials and the regular a la carte menu. 

Lychee, Lemongrass & Ginger Mocktail ; Kirin Beer 

The lovely Sarah remembered that I'm allergic to alcohol, so she has arranged with the bar to whip up a mocktail for me ! Thanks very much for remembering ! \^o^/
The bartender made a non-alcoholic concoction of lychee, fresh lemongrass and fresh ginger, mixed with  lemonade. 
I must say...this had to be the most delicious mocktail I've ever had so far - the blend of the exotic flavours worked so well together to create a very refreshing drink. As the night goes by, the lemongrass and ginger continued to infuse into the drink - delicious !
My friend (who can drink alcohol obviously), had a cold crisp glass of Kirin Beer instead.

Sourdough Bread & Butter ; Dining Tables

We took longer than usual to decide on what to order, luckily Adrian was there to the rescue :)
He suggested perhaps a choice of starter and a chopped salad to start with, and then he explained some of the favourites from the chops and meat selection. 
I was tossing between choosing one of the steak or the Glazed Beef Short Rib that has been cooked for 3 days in a special sauce, then further braised for 6 hours - imagine how tender the meat would be *drool*.

S & P

It was a lovely surprises when Executive Chef, David Clarke, popped out from his busy kitchen to say hello :D
He has been heading the kitchen since the restaurant was first opened back in August 2008. 
Under the supervision of Chef David, the restaurant was chosen as the National Winner for Favourite Steak by the cable TV's Lifestyle Food "I Love Foods 2010 Award" - which was a great award as the winner is selected by votes from regular diners throughout Australia - well done ^_^

Ceviche of Hiramasa Kingfish
European Radish, Organic Flowers & Avruga Caviar

When I saw this dish on the menu, I knew I just had to order it as it sounded pretty hehehe :P
As you can see, it is indeed a pretty dish - actualy....VERY pretty !
The organic flowers added such vibrancy to the dish and looked how neatly laid out were the thinly sliced discs of the European radish.

More prettiness shot...

The Hiramasa Kingfish were as fresh as you can get them, sweet and firm textured. It was served on a bed of light lemon mayonnaise and the crunchy radishes add texture to the dish.
Love the peppery flavour of micro shiso (Japanese perilla) and the random burst of saltiness from the black pearls of Avruga caviar.
It was a perfect summery starter - rich yet light and refreshing (also pretty ^_*).

Crisp Pork Belly & Sea Scallop 
Chinese Cabbage, Coriander, Pea Shoots & Soy Vinaigrette

Like I said earlier, they are not just saying it when they say "big salad"...it was a mountain of salad !!
As recommended by Adrian, we ordered the most popular chopped salad in the house, the one that people would return for just to have it. 
While I was busy taking (endless) shots of the kingfish ceviche dish, my friend had the first mouthful of the salad and the next thing I heard was "Mmm......" and followed by humming and singing of Disney's Aladdin's "A Whole New World" - ROFL !

After the unexpected singing performance, I just had to put away my camera and scooped some onto my plate...

Three words : Yum..Yum...Yum

I didn't burst into singing but I must agree, it was delicious !!! 
The crispy pork belly was packed with flavours with nicely caramelized skin and the scallop was done very well, still slightly pink in the centre and sweet. 
It was an Asian themed salad with finely shredded chinese cabbage, coriander, pea shoots, marinated sliced shiitake mushrooms, fried shallots, soba noodles and fried wonton chips. 
The dressing was delicious, a blend of rice vinegar, mirin, seeded mustard and sesame.
This is definitely a must order dish if you dine here at Chophouse - perhaps you will burst into singing and dancing ?
It is a big serving of salad though, so best to be shared between 3 - 4 people , the two of us were struggling to finish it :)

Rib Cage Ceiling ^_^
Scotch & Dry

While waiting for our main, my friend ordered a Scotch & Dry - a cocktail of scotch whisky and ginger ale. He said it was a very well mixed Scotch & Dry , very smooth.
Thumbs up for the mocktail and thumbs up for the cocktail too !

F1 Wagyu Tenderloin MB 5+ (250g) , QLD
Maitre d' Butter & Pomme Puree

Now...for something more filling and well...meaty ^_^
Decided to pass on the short rib this time and go for the recommended F1 QLD Wagyu Tenderloin with Marble Score 5+ - melt in your mouth fat...hmmmm....
It's a 250g cut which was just the perfect portion size, cooked medium rare and topped with cubes of CafĂ© de Paris butter - butter blended with a long list of spices, sauces and herbs. The heat from the steak melts the butter overtime and it just lifted up the already flavourful piece of wagyu tenderloin. Served with a side of pomme puree.

Double Double Lamb Chops ( 2 x 180g) , Margaret River - WA
Mint Jelly

My friend loves his lamb, so I knew that he was gonna order the lamb chops at the end (after tossing between steak or lamb, steak or lamb - predictable).
Each of the perfectly trimmed and shaped lamb chops weighs 180g and came from the Margaret River in WA. 
The lamb were ordered to be cooked medium to well and served with a side of mint jelly.
I had a bite of the lamb (for tasting purposes only), though the lamb flavour is still too strong for me, it had a really nice caramelized crust and was surprisingly tender considering how it was requested to be cooked. The mint jelly added more sweetness to the lamb, I liked it better with as it does mask the strong lamb flavour a bit ^_^
As expected, the meat was quite red still towards the bone, but was still bearable for my friend.

Medium Rare Tenderloin ; Medium - Well Done Lamb Chops

Both of our orders were cooked as we have requested them, mine was medium rare just how I like it, still red in the middle.
The lamb as mentioned early was also done well, cooked well done but still retains its tenderness and juiciness. 

Baby Spinach
Labna & Lemon Confit Vinaigrette

Ordered a couple of sides as Adrian suggested to go with our meat. 
Needed something green to balance out the meal - the baby spinach was lightly wilted and then tossed with crunchy cucumber, crumbles of labna cheese, olives then dressed with tangy and zesty lemon confit vinaigrettee.
A perfect accompaniment to the rich mains.

Potato Puree
Victorian Dutch Creams

The potato puree was nice though perhaps too much cream or butter in it, it was a tad too rich and perhaps could be smoother as it was also a little bit grainy.

Skipped tea and coffee but can't say no to desserts of course ^_^

House Churned Dark Chocolate Ice Cream
w/ Hot Chocolate & Honeycomb

I must say, my friend's tummy needs more training, he couldn't fit anything much more than a scoop of ice cream -___-; Which I end up polishing off anyway.....do not underestimate the expanding stomach space of a foodie !! (or perhaps I should be embarrased instead ? LOL).
The choices for ice creams on the night were chocolate, vanilla and apple and also 3 choices for the sorbets which I cannot remember anymore *sorry*.
The dark chocolate ice cream was very smooth and rich, didn't really need the extra chocolate sauce though extra sweetness from the crunchy honeycomb doesn't hurt :) 

Alpine Strawberries & Cream
Vanilla Panna Cotta, Strawberries & Young Coconut Granita

Obviously I chose this dessert because it sounded like it's gonna be a pretty one :P
Served in a glass were a layer of creamy vanilla panna cotta, a layer of strawberry jelly, topped with macerated strawberries and last but not least a final capping of snow like young coconut granita.

Snow in A Glass

The young coconut granita was the highlight of the dessert, it tasted just like the real stuff, except it's ice and very refreshing. 
It may looked like a rich dessert but the flavours were so light and there were just the right proportion of each components. 

Chophouse Swiss Milk Chocolate Block
(photo from visit back in 2009)

If you are just after something simple to finish off your meal, there are Chophouse Swiss Milk Chocolate blocks on the menu as well - served on a chopping block with your own cleaver to hack away !!
We didn't get one on this visit, so the above photo were from when I dined here in 2009. 
There seems to be more flavours now on the menu : caramelized hazelnuts, rocky road and jaffa top deck.



I remembered having an enjoyable meal when I dined at Chophouse a few years back when they have their special roast dinner. 
Not being biased because I was invited to dine here this time round, but the foods seems to have stepped up a few notches :) 
Everything we had that night were delicious and the presentation were perfect (few pretty ones :D).
The drinks that came out from the bar were wonderful as well, both the alcoholic and the non - alcoholic ones.
The service was friendly and courteous and the staffs do know their stuffs.
Special thanks to Aaron & Adrian for looking after us, Chef David for preparing the delicious meals and Sarah for the invitation. 

We had a wonderful dining experience and went home with full stomachs and smiles ^_^


Love My Foods & Sugar dined as guest of Chophouse, courtesy of Sarah Ashmore of Pacific Restaurant Group.


Chophouse on Urbanspoon








9 comments:

  1. haha a wholeeee newwwww worrrrlllllld!

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  2. that Hiramasa Kingfish looks great. i'll have to remember to try that next time if it's still on the menu :-)

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  3. Crispy pork belly and scallop combo sounds wonderful. Lovely looking steakhouse. Is it just me or are ceviches all starting to look the same?

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  4. suze : it was hilarious, luckily the place was packed when the singing begun LOL

    simon : the ceviche is on the current menu which has just got changed last week, so I think it will be there for at least few months :)

    joey : you must must try the pork belly & scallop salad ! Now that you mention it...they do don't they ? The trend is to add edible flowers to everything now (not that I'm complaining on pretty looking foods :D)

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  5. This looks amazing, i was surprised by the immaculate presentation of the food, hearing the name 'chophouse' just conjured up images of big rustic plates of food :)

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  6. Hi Monica! The food looks amazing. I love the Hiramasa. I should really pay them a visit. :)

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  7. muppy : you are right, when people hear "chophouse" all you can think of is just meat and meat , but not here though, they do put extra efforts into presentation ^_^

    marvin : and you must order the pork belly !

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  8. wow monica! such detailed post about the chophouse. made me wanting to go and have a go! great presentation of the food.

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  9. Hiya Mel : give it a go and hope you enjoyed it too ^_^

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