A Grab Your Fork post about Chophouse featuring a photo of the pasture-fed Tomahawk steak placed the restaurant in my wishlist. My sister and I were planning a catch up with our friends Alinda and Salvatore; I tried to book Porteño but, as expected, it was fully booked. After a brief email discussion we decided to go to Chophouse.
The place is located in the fancier side of Sydney CBD, right between big-name hotels and restaurants (Rockpool Bar & Grill, Bilson’s, etc). The tall ceilings with ribcage-like structures make you feel small and remind you this is an American style steak house. Thankfully, besides the aforementioned gigantic steak, portion sizes are human friendly.
As usual, I had checked the menu beforehand and spotted a great Argentinian Malbec in the wine list, which by the way is way more expensive than in Lima and Buenos Aires, but not bad for Sydney. Everyone trusted in my decision and we ordered a bottle to share.
2009 Altos Las Hormigas Malbec
Altos Las Hormigas Malbec ($51.00)
The 350 g pasture fed striploin MB2+ served with chutney & jus was the best seller of the night, at least in our table. Gladys and Salvatore ordered one each, Alvaro and I got one to share. The attentive waiter offered us to bring ours cut to make the sharing easier. The beef was perfectly cooked to medium, the temperature the restaurant suggests. It was a thick, tender and tasty piece of protein that didn’t really needed the chutney that came in a little side dish.
Pasture-fed striploin MB2+ ($34.00)
Pasture-fed striploin MB2+, sliced to share ($34.00)
Alinda had the 320 g crumbed pork chop, sage & hazelnut served with apple sauce. I heard no complains about the chop, which looked great from my seat.
Crumbed pork chop ($27.50)
Alvaro and I shared a Waldorf salad with grilled dates, celery & apple from the sides menu. It was a bit bland for my taste, but alright when eaten with the beef. Gladys had the same salad.
Waldorf salad ($8.00)
Salvatore ordered the side that, for me, was the winner of the night: the wedge salad, a wedge of iceberg lettuce with slow-cooked egg, roasted tomato, spec & house dressing. Look at that yolk!
Wedge salad ($8.00)
Alvaro and I also shared the crisp pork belly & sea scallop salad with Chinese cabbage, coriander, pea shoots & soy vinaigrette. Unluckily for me, the salad contained one ingredient not mentioned in the menu: noodles. It was too difficult to sift them away so I just ate them. The salad had a very nice flavour, the pork belly was crisp indeed, verging in the limit of burnt, and the scallops were alright.
Crisp pork belly & sea scallop salad ($22.00)
Dessert time arrived and I decided to jump in since I had already made this a cheat meal. I don’t consider myself a chocoholic but I do have a preference for all things chocolate when it comes to sweets. The natural choice for me was the triple chocolate mousse cake. Sadly, it didn’t meet my expectations as I found it not so smooth in texture and intense in flavour.
Triple chocolate mousse cake ($12.50)
Alvaro didn’t let a rustic name deceive him and ordered the pear & vanilla crumble with rhubarb crème brulee. The best dessert of the night, IMO. The pear & vanilla crumble tasted like pure, great butter. While I didn’t see or taste any rhubarb, the crème brulee was great. A quenelle of whipped cream rounded things off. The only disadvantage was the smallish size of all the components, especially because poor Alvaro offered all of us a taste of his dessert.
Pear & vanilla crumble ($12.00)
Gladys had the fig & spresso zabaglione with almond panacotta & brittle. Simple and beautifully presented, like a sea of glossy waves, full of coffee flavour. Great dessert, too.
Fig & espresso zabaglione ($8.50)
Alinda had the amaretto & sour cherry semi freddo with chocolate sorbet & Italian meringue. It didn’t come as one would have expected from reading the description, that is like separate elements, but as a molded dessert. It was good and Salvatore, who is Sicilian, said it tasted like cassata.
Amaretto & sour cherry semi freddo ($8.50)
While browsing the dessert menu, Salvatore mentioned how you can’t find affogato anywhere in Sydney, which I found strange because it’s offered in most cafes and restaurants in Newtown and the CBD. Including Chophouse, of course. The Chophouse Affogato consists in a scoop of vanilla gelato, a shot of espresso, and a shot of Frangelico. Delicious.
25 Bligh Street
Sydney NSW 2000
1300 246 748