Chop Shop - Piccadilly
Valentine’s Day is never a day to look forward to when you’re single. You basically want to hide away and not admit to the world that you have no other half. So it practically made my month when my best friend suggested we dine together so we could both be alone together. Jammy.
As the foodie I got to pick the place, and I thought one thing - all boys love steak. So that made the choice slightly easier. On a great recommendation from a friend, I looked up Chop Shop. In the heart of the buzzing Haymarket in Piccadilly, usually you’d avoid this tourist hub, but I had it on good authority the trip was worth it. Described as ‘Hawksmoor standard food without the hefty price tag’, I was sold. And ’nothing too couply either’ - you don’t want to be surrounded by couple on V day - people could get the wrong idea.
First thing’s first, I love the décor of this place. Reminiscent of a very upmarket Jamie’s (that’s meant as a compliment), this place is both simple and trendy, boasting distressed dark wood panelling, exposed white wash brick walls and large reclaimed tiles, right up my street.
We didn’t mess around with the ordering and went straight into the mains. Both of us ordered the rump steak (a steal at £19), then I picked the vodka bacon peppercorn sauce (it had to be done - and great combination), he went for two jars of the béarnaise, then we both opted for creamed spinach and a choice of both mash with crème fraiche and chives and chips with rosemary sea salt. Safe to say we did not leave hungry. The food here is top notch. I wouldn’t place it amongst Hawksmoor, but I’d definitely prefer to come here with friends and to save my bank balance. For a bottle of wine and steak with trimmings it was just over £35 pounds each - you can’t really complain about that.On top of that, the service was excellent, maybe even a little too good at times - you don’t need to be checked on every 15 minutes.
Definitely come here with friends when you feel like treating yourself a little instead of going for the more obvious steak houses. It’s good to branch out slightly.
The added bonus? We were back home in time for Graham Norton. A wild Valentine’s. Someone stop us.
I’ll be visiting again soon, see for yourself in the meantime.
It’s March. We’re 4 days in. I’ve already consumed half my body weight in chocolate I swear. But not all is lost, I’ve decided I’m giving up chocolate for Lent. It will be hard, but I’m determined to do it.
And on top of that I need to start eating relatively healthily again.
For my dinners I’ve had a cod fishcake with a creamy parsley sauce centre, complete with wilted spinach and peas. And the packed lunch this week was couscous, wilted spinach, peas and breaded chicken all finished off with a healthy squeeze of lemon.
Tomorrow however I’m out for Homeslice pizza at lunch. HELP.
Hawksmoor - Seven Dials
Ever since starting at my job, Hawksmoor has proved a firm favourite for steak lovers when taken out for lunch. And with a tag line of ‘the best steak restaurant in London’, you’re bound to be intrigued. So you can imagine my excitement when after 10 months in my company, my time had come to be treated to Hawksmoor. And boy did it live up to my expectations.
Blink and you’ll miss the front door to this meat lover’s haven, tucked away in one of the cobbled alleys of Seven Dials. A sweeping staircase leads down into the bar area, reminiscent of a Prohibition-era speakeasy. You then walk through the archways to the converted brewery, complete with brick walls and reclaimed fittings resembling a gentleman’s club. It’s basically every city boy’s dream.
Now onto the real highlight. The food. I simply had to go for the 300g fillet steak (medium rare of course) with a peppercorn sauce. To add to this we ordered an array of sides: creamed spinach, sweet potato, mushrooms, beef dripping potatoes and triple cooked chips (carb overload here).
As if that wasn’t enough food, it seemed a solid idea to go for dessert as well - highly unnecessary but damn good. I went for the Kerry’s Orange and Chocolate Bar. Incredibly rich, but chocolately, velvety goodness. Enough said.
This is a great location for a working lunch, but I’m not sure if it would be top of the list to come with friends in terms of atmosphere (suits aplenty). But if you love your steak, it would be a crime to not try this out. And with fillet steak coming in just over £30, it’s actually not going to break the bank either.
A charming first visit, and I would relish the opportunity to come again.