Thursday, 29 July 2010

Butler's Wharf Chop House.

'chop·house (chphous)
A restaurant that specializes in serving steaks and chops of meat.

The appellation 'chop house' has become trendy, a consequence of the recent resurgence in good native produce and British cuisine. Some of us never stopped enjoying our lamb shank, sausages and fried fish but the chattering classes finally hooked onto the fact that good meaty wholesome food is a desirable thing. The old London chop house was a smokey darkened room full of mutton chopped chaps eating chops, steaks and oysters. The modern chop house is not quite the same (sadly) although those using the name 'chop house' are often nodding to a more savoury carnivorous cuisine. For the real thing London's clubland serves the closest to a traditional chop house menu. But we tried one of these nouveau chop houses recently.

A Georgian Chop House.

Four of us rolled up to the Butlers Wharf Chop House. They in fact have a very good value lunch, 3 courses for £26.00 which for the location and the food is a steal. Sadly the sun had gone in by the time we arrived but on a sunny day there a very few restaurants in London that can compete with it for views. Straight out across the Thames and right in front of the enduringly pretty Tower Bridge. It is the perfect place to bring parents visiting from the sticks.

The Chop House's schtick is British food, an ex Conran eatery this is naturally presented through the lens of Sunday Supplement food design. Condiments and sauces are served in those little twee preserve jars and our asparagus was placed on a completely erroneous piece of paper, on a wooden platter. The family matriarch pointed out rather tartly that good old fashioned china would have been more elegant and functional. The food however was pretty good. The asparagus and oysters consumed as a starter were excellent, the meat dishes, as you should expect from a chop house were tasty and the desserts which included Yorkshire Rhubarb and ginger ice cream were tasty. In fact tastiness and decent proportions were the most obvious components of the meal. The bread that arrived with the starter and continued to be offered was excellent and the one bit of unripe rhubarb was promptly replaced. It is worth pointing out a fit for purpose wine list. These can be rarer than hens teeth. This list was well chosen, our white, a Chilean Chardonnay I think, was lovely and slipped down our thirsty throats a little too easily. In short the lunch was extremely good value and the view hard to beat.

Why to go here:

VIEW: one of the best in London.
FOOD: good quality set menu for lunch, good meat and bread.
WINE: large selection across price range.
CRITICISM: too many twiddles.

The Retrometropolitan would take: Older less adventurous people will appreciate the traditional dishes. Parents visiting from the sticks. Foreign friends.

Chop House balcony with view of bridge.

Did I say it had a nice view?

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