Chophouse, a hidden gem and pretty much the king of Sydney steakhouses. Steak is so finicky, and there are so many ways to cook it that one person’s perfect steak is another’s charred tyre rubber. But Chophouse endures, because it just gets steak.
I would go here all the time for my steak fixes if it weren’t for the prices – but of course, you just know I’m going to say they’re worth it. Pity my wallet doesn’t share that view.
Grab your knife and fork folks, let’s dig in.
Date Visited: 5/12/2012
Address: 25 Bligh St Sydney, NSW 2000
Go-to dish: crispy pork strips, off the bone, w/shaved cabbage salad & caramel chilli glaze
I’ve been to Chophouse before I started food blogging, and I was mightily impressed back then with their risotto surprisingly enough – it was probably the best I’ve actually had. If you go, be sure to order that as an entrée. Seriously, do it – you know I’m not kidding when I don’t even have a picture but I’m telling you to get this
Chophouse has one of the most deliberately rustic, country-town tavern-like decors I’ve seen in any restaurant, not just amongst steakhouses. The result is pretty awesome, actually; the place looks ultra run-down but it never feels like it reaches your table, though it’s always just a sight away. Let the pictures tell the story.
Menus are printed on cardboard, which feels great, and you also know this means that there are ever-changing elements. Keeping it fresh, they do.
Steak knives are integral to an experience at any steakhouse. As you’ll be using it for much of your journey here, it’s no surprise it comes with an elegantly crafted wooden handle that looks as good as it is sturdy.
Now, bring on the food!
Who orders a salad at a steakhouse? You should, if you’re at Chophouse. Their salads are actually some of the best out there, and there’s usually one that suits your tastes. I made the decision to get this particular one as it still includes plenty of varied protein, and I haven’t had chick peas for quite some time!
As expected, the taste was awesome. Yeah, you’ll have to go sparing on the chick peas as it gets too full after too many spoonfuls, but the squid and chorizo tasted exactly as they should – slippery and smoky, with appropriate textures to match.
Overall, the salad has a light pepper vinaigrette taste to it, and quite enjoyably tangy.
A special of the night (so you won’t find this exact item on the official menu), this pork is incredibly succulent. That caramel chilli glaze is godly, I’ve never had something like it before and I’m so sad at myself for not having discovered it sooner. I now can’t imagine this kind of pork with any other kind of sauce. Hurricanes could learn a thing or two here!
Such good flavour and texture, absolutely incredible.
Is it weird if I said that this fine cut of wagyu tastes kind of like lamb? Weird huh, then again, lamb’s higher fatty content does mean it generally tastes better than beef (all depends on how you cook it). Hmm, very quizzical at this one.
It’s still a great, fatty cut of beef. Chophouse just seems to get how its meat should be cooked. So yummy, I thought I was eating lamb? Hah!
So I’m saying all this stuff about the meat being perfect and whatnot, but see for yourself below.
How could something that good taste bad? Well it could…but besides the point.
I still can’t get over how the flavour of the meat just wasn’t…expected. It’s probably the jus though. Lamb jus?
We got ourselves a side of mash, or “purée” as they call it. This was super rich and heavy. I was glad my friend could finish this off because I honestly wasn’t willing to. The thought of all that creaminess is like craving the Ring of Power – you know you want it but you’re going to turn to the dark side if you succumb!
It may come as a bit of a surprise that good steakhouses often produce great desserts. But, when you think about how a group has ingested all of that oily, tasty, tasty meat, you’d want a heck of a palate cleanser to round off the experience.
After all, dessert is the last thing you eat (if you order it), so it had better leave an impression.
The strawberry cheesecake left an impression alright – a strange one. I’m pretty sure it comes down to the bitter chocolate, but it’s not a flavour I’m totally used to, or am comfortable with. That said, most of the cake was very nice – thick but yielding to the side of a spoon. The texture is soft and grainy, with a lot of micro-texture coming from the biscuit base. The macadamia purée? Love it.
Didn’t really expect I was going to be ingesting alcohol tonight, but that’s what inadvertently happened with the ordering of this frangelico crème brûlée.
As it should be with a good brûlée, this one cracks open under a tap from the side of the spoon, and cracks confidently, yielding the custard hiding below. The surface itself was not burnt, and what parts of it were charred were done so very well – where it actually tastes like it should be part of the overall flavour mix. A brûlée done right!
Chophouse was an awesome experience (once again), and I can’t wait to go there again, and again.
And that is a damn good steakhouse.
As usual, feel free to leave a comment or three
The Good: superlative cuts of meat and cooking methods, awesome sauces.
The Bad: the beef didn’t quite taste like beef, perhaps an incorrect sauce pairing. Beef had ever slightly too much fatty rind for my liking.
I give Chophouse a grand total of nine Caesars out of ten – 9/10