If ya like meat, or even just food generally, or are partial to an exquisite cocktail, then Chop Shop is your dream destination.
Located smack bang in the middle of the theatre district, Chop Shop is the perfect place for pre-/post-theatre cocktails, or a scrumptious bite to eat from their express (£19.00 for 2 courses, £22.00 for 3) or a la carte menu.
Fairly inconspicuous amongst the barrage of chain restaurants to be found in tourist town, Chop Shop is a hidden gem amongst the Pizza Express-Wagamama-ASK rubble.
So go in.
The bar will meet you first, with a high counter and walls steeped in all sorts of booze and glasses of all shapes & sizes, you’ll want to take a pew.
Especially since between 5-7pm Mon-Thurs all house cocktails are half price!
Who were Zoe & I to resist such an offer?
A ‘Passione Arrabiata’, chili-infused Olmeca Plata tequila, passionfruit and fresh lime for me, and a ‘Masala Mai Tai’, garam masala Havana Club 3 rum, fresh lime, almond and orange curacao for her.
What a beaut.
Both were tasty and suited our individual preferences, though, be warned, the ‘Passione Arrabiata’ certainly has a kick.
So far very content with our choice of use of a Tuesday evening, we moved to our table.
Chop Shop is part of the Altamarea Group, a highly acclaimed restaurant & hospitality company in New York, which has succeeded in re-creating the NYC ‘lively neighbourhood restaurant’ vibe here in London.
Stripped back to its original features, the restaurant provides a relaxed atmosphere as a result of its high ceilings, distressed dark wood paneling, exposed red-brick walls and beautiful large reclaimed tiles.
Chop Shop has both an urban and intimate feel to it, with 75% of all the materials used in its design being reclaimed.
Back to food.
The menu features some Altamarea favourites, including ‘Morini Meatballs’, the ‘Patty Melt Burger Sandwich’, as well as new collaborative dishes such as the ‘Cottage Pasta Pie’.
It’s rare that I want so many things from each section of a menu, so we took our time debating our options.
Eventually settling on the smoked trout jar, green olives, crème fraiche (£5.00) and smoked ham hock Scotch egg with salsa verde (£6.00). ‘Cos ya can never have enough of anything smoked, right?
The smoked trout jar was tasty. Coarse-textured, creamy, fresh fishy pate spread on warm, toasted (limitless) bread is always going to down well. At least it is when I’m around.
But better yet was the Scotch egg.
#Yolkporn wrapped in warm, meaty-rich ham hock encased in a thin layer of crunchy, grease-free breadcrumbs.
Paired with the refreshing salsa verde, it was particularly delicious and tasted deceivingly light.
To pay appropriate homage to our impending meat feast, we ordered a bottle of ‘Malbec, Catena Appellation, Argentina, 2012’ (£35.00).
Mains consisted of the Creekstone USDA hanger steak 180g (£18.00) and 8-hour USDA short rib for two, BBQ glazed, slaw (market price).
Despite our best efforts, I honestly can’t tell you which we preferred; both dishes were simply the very best that they could be.
A cut of meat that I would usually avoid, I found the hanger steak to be surprisingly tender. Cooked exactly as requested, both Zoe & I couldn’t get enough of the soft pink beef.
As for the short rib, the meat truly FELL off the bone. Riddled with thin layers of warm, unctuous fat, the meat was insanely juicy & tasty, which contrasted delectably with its charred outer surface.
Can you tell we liked it?
The chips, rosemary, sea salt (£3.00) were decent, and good value.
The creamed spinach (£4.00) was even better, perfectly done.
All soaked up in béarnaise and vodka bacon peppercorn sauce (£2.00 each), we were two incredulously happy piggy little customers.
But after a well-deserved (and required) rest break, the cheeky barman with his impeccable cocktail-making skills was too hard to resist, and two espresso martinis simply had to be done.
Oh, and dessert.
We shared the chocolate brownie sundae (£6.00) and warm treacle tart with vanilla ice-cream (£6.00).
The sundae took me back to the days of McDonald’s pre-McFlurry’s (shout out to all the 90’s kids who remember this), with the same soft-serve-style vanilla ice-cream seeped in hot chocolate sauce, but with the added bonus of hidden jewels of chocolate brownie chunks.
The treacle tart was equally as immense. Perfect pastry supporting sweet, sticky, filthy-rich golden syrup amalgamated breadcrumbs.
Zoe & I (unsurprisingly) rode our protein sugar high for the next few days, but agreed that each bite had been worth every calorie.
The décor, the cocktails, the service, the FOOD and the value for money makes Chop Shop an absolute winner for me.
We love, love, loved it!
I dined as a guest of Chop Shop, but all opinions are my own.