It had been a while since my friends and I had gotten together for the sake of well… Getting together for a nice dinner and just chilling out. I had originally suggested Ripples at Milson’s Point since it was some place new for me and one of the girls wanted to stick to the Lower North Shore but we eventually went to the Chophouse after drooling over the review one of us had read on Chocolate Suze.
What was supposed to be a group outing for ten somehow dwindled to a mere triple date. Regardless, my friends and I were determined to make the most of the evening and it wasn’t too difficult as we discovered the Chophouse offered the perfect ambience for a variety of occasions.
At first glance, I could imagine the patio being a typical dim bar area where the hustle and bustle of grey suits and loose neck ties would gather on an early Friday night. However, we booked for a Saturday night so the atmosphere was quite different – just a few outdoor heaters and low hanging trees for that cool urban crossed over with nature kind of feel.
As our booking was relatively last minute, we were seated in the chilly outdoors. Luckily for us though, they weren’t too busy and we were able to use five of their seven outdoor gas heaters all to ourselves! I struggled to decide what to eat – partly because of the amazing menu but also partly due to the dim outdoor lighting (which is also why the photos are a quite poor… apologies!).
Anyway enough talking from me and let’s have a look at all the great food we ordered!
If ever asked to choose between a white bread roll or sour dough – always opt for sourdough! I don’t know what it is about this bread that makes me like it so much… Perhaps the faint sour taste of the fluffy insides paired with it’s tough exterior… Anyway this bread was awesome! Lathered with lots of butter mmm.. What more could I ask for… (Hmm.. According to the pictures below… Clearly much more!)
Crisp Pork Belly & Sea Scallop – Chinese cabbage, coriander, pea shoots & soy vinaigrette
We shared the three entrees and this had to be my favourite! The best salads I like are those made with such delicate ingredients you never realize how much you’ve eaten until you stop! There was an abundance of scallops in the salad which was great because nothing angers you more when a restaurant is overly ungenerous on the good stuff.
Confit of King Salmon – crisp salmon stuffed zucchini flower & beetroot
The only thing I remember about this dish is the thick oily taste of omega 3 as I chewed on the salmon. The taste was so rich I wanted to have more but needed to save my stomach for the mains!
Jamon & Italian Buffalo Milk Mozzarella – Roasted fennel, almonds, balsamic & herbs
When I had this dish I had no idea what Jamon was (for those of you who don’t know, it’s a type of dry-cured Spanish ham – I just googled it!). It went really well with the mozzarella which was light and fluffy unlike your typical Italian cheese.
Char-Grilled Petit Chicken – Butterflied spatchcock marinated in chimichurri, stuffed with fresh ricotta & charred lemon served with harissa sauce
Anyone who knows me well will know that there is nothing that I love more than a good steak! And dining in a steakhouse, one would expect me to order a steak. Perhaps it was the huge selection of steak that I couldn’t make up my mind? Anyway I chose the char-grilled chicken and was slightly disappointed… It didn’t seem that unique and the char-grilled taste was a little too strong.
Grain Fed T-bone – 600g Riverine District NSW Angus-Hereford cross150 days grain-fed
I started regretting my decision to order chicken as soon as the T-bone arrived. I mean, what was I thinking? The steak looked so awesome and when my friend offered me some it tasted just as tender and juicy as it looked!
Dark Ale Marinated Wagyu Steak – MB6+, 400 day grain fed, char grilled
The boy had this dish medium rare and in his own words, the choice of meant from the very beginning “has done wonders for this dish”. I had a taste and indeed it was cooked the way medium rare should be but the meat was a bit too chewy for my liking.
Pan Roasted Cobia Kingfish – Snow pea shoots, shitake & sesame salad
Onion Rings & Strings – parmesan salt
Potato Puree – Victorian Dutch creams
The boy found the potato puree one of the highlights (ah, so easily satisfied) of the meal though I can’t say I disagree. It was smooth and runny and definitely puree (don’t laugh – I’ve been places where they’ve tried to pass off mash as puree).
Bombe Alaska – Rum & raisin semifreddo, chocolate sorbet
Now I’ve never had a Bombe Alaska before so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect in terms of taste. I’ve only every seen it on TV so was a bit disappointed when they didn’t bring out a meringue engulfed in flames. Other than that teeny tiny disappointment I really liked it. My friend rated it “five stars” and I have to agree. There’s a layer of chocolate sorbet which really helps balance the fluffy exterior of the dessert.
Rhubarb & Alpine Strawberries – Crumble, crème brulee and organic rose Chantilly
Two words: Super sour. Although the boy loved it, I honestly cannot handle anything that’s sour. The Rhubarb looks extremely enticing at first but wait too long, and the three layers begin to mix and step on each other to form a piece that resembles a fruity muesli porridge.
On the other hand, the crème brulee was fantastic! All of us looked on eagerly as the thick crunchy sugar coating was cracked – and then we all dug in!
Chophouse Swiss Milk Chocolate Block with Jaffa top deck
One of us had ordered their signature Chophouse chocolate. You might ask what’s so unique about a block of chocolate but the presentation was definitely interesting. It came out in one piece on a chopping board and the whole table watched on as the waitress chopped it all up for us. There are three different twists to choose from: caramelised hazelnuts, rocky road and jaffa top deck.
When the bill came I was unpleasantly surprised. It seemed a bit pricey for what we ordered but hey, at least the waitstaff were great – ranging from the perfectly timed interruptions to the light conversation touching on carrot fingers. And last but not least, you can’t buy company ;)
25 Bligh St
T: 1300 246 748