Forget everything you thought you knew about a steakhouse, and go and try Chophouse in the Sydney CBD.
Described as a tribute to the New York-style steakhouse, Chophouse removes itself from the regular gimmicks of steakhouses and instead exudes a level of class through its service, food and contemporary setting.
Inside the restaurant, the lighting is fairly dim, projecting a calm ambience throughout. Wood is featured throughout the décor, with beautiful wooden tables, high ceilings and faded walls. Chophouse has a capacity of more than 200, with tables and booths spread across two levels, plus a bar area and outdoor seating.
To start, the twice-cooked crisp pork shank salad ($21) was one of the highlights of the evening. The pork collapses under the fork and is tossed between the crunchy Chinese cabbage and topped with a caramel chilli dressing. You also find tasty morsels of the crispy skin pork in the salad. How is it that I came to Chophouse to be wowed by their meat, only for it to be upstaged by a salad? Delicious. The cheesy risotto balls ($14) were truly something else, too. The three cheeses of taleggio, parmesan and gruyere are as soft as silk, and the risotto cooked perfectly.
Although there’s plenty of variety in the menu, Chophouse prides itself on its 'meat and chops'. It’s not so much for meat lovers, but more for those who appreciate quality produce. The F1 wagyu striploin ($55.90) is 300g of the finest beef from the Rangers Valley in NSW. Chophouse’s chefs have treated the cut, four on the marble score, with the upmost respect. The caramelized surface of the meat from the grill has an oaky flavour, which matches with the juicy steak and red jus. If you need a hint of spice with your beef, the harissa should satisfy.
If you’re hankering for some meat but don’t feel like beef, the chicken cordon bleu with brie and jamón ibérico ($27.90) is another impressive dish. The free range Thirlmere chicken is soft and moist, and the whole dish has a beautiful aroma. It’s rich but not excessive.
With the desserts, Chophouse’s offerings look better than they taste, but it’s still a satisfactory way to end the meal. Try the Rocky Road sliders ($5 each), where the chocolate is sandwiched in between two pieces of brioche. The baklava semifreddo ($9) is not the traditional Middle-Eastern dessert, but it’s a thoroughly enjoyable modern interpretation.
Having heard about Chophouse as being a premier steakhouse, it’s really not just a one-trick pony. Impeccable service, the finest produce and meals you will keep coming back. You’ll never look at a steak the same way again.