As we scanned through the drinks list, my boyfriend had his eyes set on the Sunraysia pineapple juice ($8). On the other hand, my attention was instantaneously grabbed by the hot chocolate by Ghirardelli ($7), which sounded especially good because I’ve tasted Ghirardelli chocolate and it’s delicious! So hot chocolate it was for me.
My hot chocolate arrived with a small cranberry cookie on the side. I love it when the hot drink comes with a cookie as you get to savour it before the main course arrives (definitely helpful when your stomach is growling for some food). Unfortunately, the hot chocolate itself did not leave a deep impression on me. It wasn’t as rich and chocolaty as I expected it to be, unlike Ghirardelli chocolates I have tried before. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the cookie, which had bits of chewy and tasty cranberry in it.
My boyfriend enjoyed his pineapple juice, which was tangy and refreshing. It is definitely a good option if you wish to get your taste buds alive and kicking before the main course is served.
For the main course, my boyfriend and I shared the Italian Style Braised Short Ribs ($40), which was served with potatoes, alfalfa sprouts, asparagus, cheese and tomato sauce. When it was presented to us, the dish looked a little gooey from all the sauce and cheese. However, after I took my first tentative bite, I was amazed and converted – it was delicious!
The meat was cooked to perfection, tender and yielding easily to the pressure of the knife. After chatting with the staff, we found out that beef tenderloin (which is one of the softest parts of the beef) was used for this dish, which explains why the meat was so tender and juicy. The tomato sauce complemented the meat well and provided a zesty and invigorating flavour to the dish. We were also presented with three mini jars of condiments – 1) Onion jam with white wine vinegar, 2) Chilli mustard, 3) Beetroot chutney.
Out of these three, my favourite was the onion jam. The explosion of sweetness from the onion was delightful and addictive and I couldn’t help but add heaps of it to accompany my food. My boyfriend enjoyed the chilli mustard thoroughly too and I believe those who have a thing for spice would also fancy it. In addition, the asparagus and alfalfa sprouts added a touch of lightness to offset the heaviness of this meaty dish. It was refreshing to be able to intersperse mouthfuls of meat with nibbles of the crunchy yet juicy asparagus. The mashed potato was also a lovely complement. It was fluffy and flavourful, and it was almost like I was eating a creamy cloud! I could have gone on eating it forever! On the whole, the braised short ribs dish was very well-balanced, with the many different tastes coming together to complement each other beautifully. This dish will definitely be a delectable treat for your taste buds! The portion was just right, leaving us satisfied but not bloated, and we still had some room for dessert.
We had a tough time deciding which dessert to get as they all sounded yummy! We finally decided on the Dark Chocolate Ganache Tart ($12). There was a meringue on top of the tart, light and crispy. It was fun feeling it disintegrate when I put it in my mouth and I like that it was not overly sweet. The crust of the tart was crunchy but I felt that it was a little too dry and hard for my liking. It would have been nice if it was more buttery, but I guess this ultimately boils down to personal tastes and preferences. But the star of the show would unquestionably be the dark chocolate ganache. When I placed the cool rich chocolate in my mouth, it instantaneously melted and gave way to a wondrous feeling of bliss you get when you eat really good chocolate. The hint of bitterness in the rich chocolate flavour was intoxicating, so if you love dark chocolate, this is unmistakably the dessert for you!
However, if you are not a fan of dark chocolate, do not worry as they have other desserts such as The Chop House Bailey’s Cheesecake ($9) and Apple Strudel in Tortilla with Vanilla Ice-Cream ($11), which all sound really unique and awesome!
In general, the staffs were very professional, friendly and efficient. They constantly checked up on us and also sincerely asked us whether we enjoyed the food. We learnt from them that many of the food items were home-made, which is a major plus point. For example, we were told by a staff that the cranberry cookie and the 3 condiments (onion jam, chilli mustard and beetroot chutney) I mentioned previously were not purchased from factories but made in their own restaurant! Their dedication to their food is impressive and you can be sure that there is standard to the food that they serve. I think that the pride they place on their food is commendable and speaks volumes of this food establishment.
On the whole, I feel that dining is not solely about the food but also about the experience and the staff at The Chop House made this dining experience a wonderful and memorable one! While it might be a little heavy on the pocket (especially for students who do not have any source of income), I think The Chop House would be a great place to celebrate a special occasion or hang out with your friends, enjoying the night away
Here is the link to The Chop House’s website if you are interested to find out more about them!
And here are the links to their menus I got from their website, if you want to check out other drinks or food items that they offer!
Recommended Dish(es): Italian Style Braised Short Ribs
Date of Visit: Dec 19, 2013
Spending per head: Approximately $40(Dinner)
Keep it up!