When terms like ‘free range’ and ‘organic’ have become marketing buzzwords, it’s refreshing to find a restaurant that is truly passionate about the origins of the food that they’re serving. A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be invited to the launch of Grasslands Beef at an event held simultaneously at Chophouse and Kingsleys. Grasslands is the newest premium beef product from Cargill Beef Australia. It is naturally free range, and not only tastes better, but it’s actually better for you.
The three-course menu was designed to showcase the best of the beef, matched with Cape Mentelle wines from Margaret River. I had never been to Chophouse before, but I instantly fell in love with the warm, cavernous dining room that reminded me of a disused train tunnel. The spacious room was furnished with leather booths and timber textures, and as Steph said, there’s just something really comforting about an open kitchen.
The entrees were served as share plates for the table. The Grasslands Bresaola with mustard fruits, seeded mustard and olive oil was delicious. A great blend of tastes and textures and a lovely way to start the meal.
The Short Rib Thai beef salad with peanuts, Asian herbs and nuoc cham was served in cute little lettuce cups. It sounded so good in theory but the beef was a little dry, almost like jerky, and perhaps it wasn’t quite what I was expecting, but it wasn’t my favourite dish of the evening.
My favourite of the entrees was the Korean Tartare with Mt Lowe Truffle, pine nuts and white soy aioli. It took me a little while to warm to the idea of tartare but colour me converted because this was amazing. I especially loved the shavings of truffle on top, which made it rather decadent! This was definitely a very special dish.
We were in for a treat with our mains, starting with the Slow Roasted Tenderloin with Parmesan onion rings and gremolata. The steak was absolutely delicious, but the highlight of this dish for me was those amazing onion rings! They were perfectly crisp and golden, which is such a change from some sad, soggy ones that I have had in the past. It was a lovely combination, which I’d like to try to replicate at home one day!
The Cote de Bouf, an 800g rib on the bone was absolutely delicious and was cooked perfectly, served with fat chips and a selection of mustards – a lovely match to the 2009 Cape Mentelle Shiraz that accompanied the mains. To go with them, we had generous side servings of crunchy green beans and shoestring fries.
I had been looking forward to the Chophouse Chocolate Block for dessert. It’s such a unique signature, and a beautiful way to end the meal with a bit of theatre at the table as it’s chopped in front of you with a cute miniature cleaver. This time it had delicious caramelised hazelnuts inside, which was a really lovely addition to the silky smooth, rich chocolate. And finally, to finish off the meal, we had a beautifully presented Cheese Plate, with quince paste, crackers and fruit bread.
I know I’ll definitely be back at Chophouse soon – there’s a Black Angus Tomahawk steak calling my name! I loved the warm atmosphere of the restaurant and lovely staff, who were very helpful and accommodating, not to mention the incredible food. Thanks very much to the Chophouse team for inviting me along to the Grasslands launch!
Spicyicecream dined as a guest of Chophouse
Chophouse – 25 Bligh St, Sydney