25 Bligh Street, Sydney NSW 2000
Pigging out on a new carvery
Whether it was the ear, cheeks, trotters or snout, there was nothing left to waste when it came to a table of food bloggers witnessing a full suckling pig being carved up.
Thanks to Sarah from Pacific Restaurant Group (the umbrella company that looks after Chophouse and Kingsleys) for inviting me as a guest to the 'Pig & Pinot' bloggers dinner. We were welcomed by Adam Heathcote, Operations Manager for the Pacific Restaurant Group, and treated to a spread of lovely food by the passionate Executive Chef David Clarke (pictured above). Our waitress Michelle was on hand and looked after us with her friendly and helpful manner. The 11.4 kg Slow Roasted Organic Suckling Pig (Approximately $55/head for 10 people) was the main event which was a test run in preparation as an item for the new carvery being added upstairs in the next 6-8 weeks scheduled for Mondays. The meat was beautifully tender and the skin thin yet deliciously crunchy as hoped — this is one of those dishes for sharing with many friends.
The entree of Jamon & Italian Buffalo Milk Mozzarella, roasted fennel, almonds, balsamic & herbs ($18) had a nice balance of flavours with the mozzarella being not too overpowering. The Ceviche of Hervey Bay sea scallops (specially prepared menu item) came with freshly sliced Mt Lowe truffle. I enjoyed the balance of flavours although I found the truffle taste quite subtle. The standout side for me was The Wedge ($9.90) which was their version of a Caesar Salad with crispy iceberg, slow cooked egg, white anchoves, parmesan and speck. Lovely bold flavours complimented by the refreshing iceberg lettuce. The reasonably priced sides of Cauliflower gratin, sourdough and gruyere ($7.90) and Seasonal green beans with herb butter ($7.90) were yummy.
For dessert the reasonably priced Caramelised banana cheesecake with butterscotch and peanut brittle ($8) was nicely presented and just the right size to finish off with a sweet note followed by their signature Chophouse Swiss Milk Chocolate Block 150g with caramelised hazelnuts ($16.50). My Cappuccino was smooth and thankfully not bitter although I wished there was brown or raw sugar available instead of just white sugar. It's the first time I've tried wines from Waitaki Valley in New Zealand and I'll certainly be looking out for these. The smooth and slightly sweet 2008 Ostler Pinot Gris ($57/bottle) was an excellent match for the entrees and I think the 2006 Ostler Caroline's Pinot Noir ($82/bottle) has now become my new favourite benchmark. To finish the opportunity was given to try the very lethal Berta Grappa Nebbiolo Tre Soli Tre 2001 and XO Hennessy Cognac — I sadly was out of my depth with appreciating these with any grace and composure.
Other visits to Chophouse:
• 17 August 2010 - Jamon & Italian Buffalo Mozzarella, Ceviche of Hervey Bay sea scallops, Slow Roasted Organic Suckling Pig, Ostler wines, Caramelised Banana Cheesecake
• 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
Other food blog reviews:
PROS: Nice decor, Quality ingredients, Efficient and professional service, Tasty dishes
CONS: You need at least 10-12 people to share a whole pig, Restaurant gets busy towards the end of the week so book ahead
MUST TRY: Slow roasted suckling pig with friends, Ostler Pinot Noir, Wedge salad
Pig & Pinot menu
Ceviche of Hervey Bay sea scallops, Mt Lowe truffle, avruga and apple (specially prepared menu item)
Wafer thin crackling
SIMON FAVOURITE :-)
Sparkling to start
XO Hennessy Cognac, France
Adam from Pacific Restaurant Group
Table for 10
Chocolatesuze has her eye on the prize
Billy from A Table for Two taking a closer look
John from He Needs Food sporting a new snout
Wooden themed toilet cover
Outside seating and dining area
Goodie bag: Chophouse Swiss Chocolate Block 80g with rocky road $7.50, Chophouse Swiss Chocolate Block 80g with Jaffa top deck $7.50, Two Lindt macaroons, Quality cut of Delmonico steak and instructions on how to cook the perfect steak