25 Bligh Street, Sydney NSW 2000
A roast dinner is on the agenda tonight and I remembered some food bloggers — Grab Your Fork, Here Comes The Food, Jenius, A Table for Two and One Bite More — recently visited this very stylish and well-designed restaurant with good reviews of the food so I thought I'd try their roast dinner promotion (Mon-Sat, 6-8 pm, until sold out — 'Just like a roast at Mum & Dad's but we won't make you wash up...') in search of some good pork crackling.
On entering the restaurant we were greeted by the very welcoming manager Peter Goff who accommodated our non-reservation. While being seated it was hard not to be in awe of such a beautifully designed restaurant. The attention to detail (including the bathrooms) and the ambient lighting works so well together to create a very relaxed and homely atmosphere. Unfortunately the lighting was so nice where we sat that it was a challenge to photograph the dishes so refer to the above blogs for other food photos.
I ordered the $18 Roast Dinner special which came with either beef or pork or half/half which was my choice. When it arrived I quickly noticed there was no crackling (sacrilege!) and after checking with our waitress, who seemed slightly rushed of her feet, she realised with a bit of confusion that the kitchen had forgotten to put it on the dish so I was given 3 decent sized pieces on the side (although I think your only supposed to get one?). It was deliciously crunchy and perfectly cooked to my liking and just as good as the crackling I had at the Bavarian Bier Cafe but slightly thicker. Both the beef and pork was tender and moist and the vegetable sides were freshly cooked and tasty and a reasonable size for sharing.
The char-grilled lamb shoulder chops were tender and juicy but unfortunately the 'chimichurri' was fairly non-existent on the taste buds and nothing like the full taste sensation sample of Mad Cow's BBQ wagyu top sirloin steak with chimichurri I experienced at the March Into Merivale Launch Party which had noticeable amounts of parsley and garlic.
At the end of the meal we were too full for desserts but our kind manager provided us a take home bar of their signature house-made chocolate block branded with 'Chophouse' which is usually served with a mini chop and wooden board. I tried a bit at home and it's a very smooth melt in your mouth (and hand) blend with small pieces of almond brulee (crunchy almond toffee) I believe and is similar in a certain way to a Toblerone bar for me. I noticed the Chophouse has a very high score of 8.7 on Eatability after 9 reviews and I think it's got the right mix of quality food and atmosphere to keep satisfying the meat loving patrons.
Other visits to Chophouse:
• 7 Sept 2009 - Pork Scratchings, Minute Steak of Wagyu, Crumbed pork chop, Rangers Veal Rib, Crisp Skin Wild River Barramundi, Mushroom & Spinach Risotto, Glazed Beef Short Rib with house-made BBQ sauce
• 28 May 2009 - Roast Dinner: Riverine Premium Beef and Byron Bay Berkshire Pork with Crackling, Char-grilled lamb shoulder chops
Cute spoon for salt and pepper dish
Riverine Premium Beef and Byron Bay Berkshire Pork with Crackling, roasted Japanese pumpkin and Dutch cream potatoes $18 (I'm afraid my dish is a little all over the place because I was searching for my pork crackling under the layers of meat)
Pork crackling mmmmmmmmmm! Was perfectly crunchy.
SIMON FAVOURITE :-)
Apple sauce, gravy and mustard on the side
Char-grilled lamb shoulder chops 350g: Grain-fed, oven roasted tomato, chimichurri $19.50
Seasonal green beans with herb butter $7.90
Sauteed brussel sprouts with white anchovy & rosemary $7.90
House-made chocolate block (20% dark chocolate, 80% milk chocolate) $12.90
Stairwell chandelier and feature wall of wine bottles
Chandelier of bones above bar
Mirrored wall reflected the vault arches
Kitchen window and bar
Outdoors dining area
Entrance to Chophouse underneath Bligh Chambers building