Sydney harbours a plethora of amazing experiences.
Some are well-known, others are truly hidden away and known only by the initiated, and there are those in plain sight yet missed by most.
The Chophouse is a venue that eluded me for close to ten years, even though it’s around the corner from my office, and many of my other favourite Sydney restaurants.
Never mind, the beauty of Secret Sydney is making such discoveries. As the name implies, the Chophouse is a steakhouse. A fabulous steakhouse. The restaurant is now part of Matt Moran and Bruce Solomon’s Solotel Group.
There are a fair few steakhouses in Sydney, in fact the Chophouse is located practically steak knife-throwing distance away from Neil Perry’s flagship steakhouse, the Rockpool Bar & Grill, across the street.
But there is something unique about the Chophouse, and that uniqueness comes from the combination of quality ingredients cooked to perfection and the flawless, yet personable and relaxed, service. On one occasion, the teenager and the eleven-year-old on our table expressed a desire for a glass of milk with their dessert. Our waiter, without batting an eye, returned with two glasses of milk and a knowing smile in, what seemed like, less than a minute …
The menu is extensive and proudly descriptive when it comes to the source of the various cuts of meat which cover the map of Australia from the Riverina in New South Wales, to Amelia Park in Western Australia, Gympie in Queensland, and the Otway Range in Victoria.
I would recommend starting with a dry vodka martini, with their fabulous spicy pickled onion – it will set the tone for your meal! One time, we had our pre-dinner drink at the bar, and had a wonderful ‘Cheers’-like experience with our bartender. If a vodka martini is not your speed, there is an extensive cocktail list on offer.
Or, you can go straight to the excellent wine menu, listing some beautiful reds that will complement your choice of choice meat perfectly.
Although the highlight are the meats from the grill and broiler, there are many treasures among the entrées, such as the mind-blowing Jalapeno poppers (served sautéed in butter the night we tried it), delicious stuffed zucchini flowers, and the charcuterie plate. We are also partial to the delicious pork belly & sea scallop salad which pops with flavour.
When it comes to the meats, the F1 Wagyu rump cap from AACo with a marble rating of MB6+ is excellent value, and so is the dry aged Delmonico striploin on the bone from the Riverina with a marble rating of MB2+.
The Chophouse wagyu beef burger is delicious, and practically a bargain at 22.90, served with pickles, Monteray Jack cheese sauce, and crunchy shoestring fries.
But the most memorable Chophouse meat experience (other than the suckling pig feast from the “Chop ‘N’ Change” menu which we are yet to try) are the tomahawks!
If you can have only one, go for the Angus Hereford Cross beef tomahawk. It serves up to four people comfortably, served with the crunchy shoestring fries, sautéed mushrooms, and three tasty sauces. The meat is pure ecstasy, with the fat cooked to absolute perfection.
If you have enough people with you, or it’s just the two of you, the pork tomahawk served with crackling, apple fritters, crunchy shoestring fries, and sauces is delectable.
The dessert menu is surprisingly strong for a steakhouse. The brûlée, flavoured with pineapple and lime when we visited, was well-balanced and perfectly textured, and the blended Swiss chocolate chopping block with nutella and roasted hazelnuts was a delicious end to a fabulous meal. And I love a restaurant that does a good, classic affogato!
The true danger of the Chophouse is its addictiveness, especially when it comes to the beef tomahawk, although I am now fighting the temptation of the suckling pig feast from the “Chop ‘N’ Change” menu for my upcoming birthday … I will keep you posted on that one!
25 Bligh Street
Sydney, NSW, 2000
Monday to Friday: from 12pm till late
Saturday: 6pm till late
Phone: +61 (0)2 9231 5516
Open Table: Chophouse