Friday, 31 May 2013

quality chop house

The Quality Chop House has been getting a lot of attention ever since it's recent reopening, a reincarnation of what has existed on the same location under the same name for 140 years.

The decor channels the Victorian roots of the address, with white tiled walls and black wooden furniture. The place is divided into a dining room, which serves a set menu, and the wine bar, which is more casual and serves a daily a la carte menu. I was dining with a non-meat-eating friend, so we opted for the wine bar for dinner. I've heard the authentic benches in the dining room are not all too comfortable, but the seats at the wine bar are perfectly normal.

As expected of any place that calls itself a 'wine bar', there is an extensive wine list and also a few special wines each day that you can have by the glass. The waiter knew the wines well, and we both picked from the specials that were recommended.

We were quite lucky that a lot of the day's menu was seafood and not meat! Starting off, we had a tasty crab rarebit spread on bread. The crab was well seasoned and punchy, we definitely regretted having only ordered one portion!

Next came scallop baked in wild garlic butter, which was less tastebud-grabbing than the crab, but the scallop itself shined through.

Then came cornish fried fish, which consisted of 3 very different textured fishes (cod cheek, monkfish and I can't remember the last). The fish was done well, lightly battered and fried whilst retaining the juicy and succulent texture of the fish. The fishes chosen all had distinctive textures and each was different from the others, which is great.

The highlight of my meal was definitely our main, lemon sole with brown butter capers. The sole was soft and smooth, with a strong but not overpowering kick of butter lifting the very lightly flavoured fish.  The portion was very sufficient to share between two (having had all those starters).

We were stuffed by the end of all that (there were a couple of dishes I didn't get a picture of) so we decided to end lightly with a rhubarb mess, which was a great and light touch to the end of the meal.

I really love this place for bucking the trends of glitzy, trendy establishments and sticking to good honest food that zeroes in on good ingredients and flavours. I think I'll probably brave those benches and give the dining hall set menu a try the next time I visit!

Food: 8/10
Environment: 7/10
Service: 7/10
Price: £ £ £ out of 5

You can find the Quality Chop House home page here.

The Quality Chop House on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

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