Saturday, 18 October 2014

The Chop House

Part of Wooloomooloo Group, The Chop House boasts a SelfTap Beer system  imported from America and the 1st in Asia, where diners buy a stored value card to tap against the reader before pulling their own cold pint from the beer keg. Also available are artisan beers, crafted cocktails, whiskey and wines. Choose between the air-conditioned indoors and alfresco outdoors at this casual dining concept on the 1st floor of VivoCity near Artisan Boulangerie Compagnie, Jamie's Italian and Poulet. Lots of wood could be seen in the 160-seater place with accents of red and black (high stools by the bar and black chairs with red seats among others). Together with floor-to-ceiling windows facing the waterfront, it exudes a casual and relaxed vibe. According to the website, its menu offers "an array of international dishes with a contemporary spin" using only high quality fresh ingredients from all over the world with their natural flavours revealed in the food and beverage.

During my first visit for dinner on a weekday, I had Berkshire Pork Chop while my dining companions shared Mixed Seafood Grill. The former, well-marinated in a Mongolian glaze of hoisin and black bean chilli sauce, tasted better than it looked. Succulent and tender, it was neither too dry nor tough but so sweet that I scrapped away the sauce on top. And a tad expensive even though Berkshire is a rare breed of pigs, no different from Kagoshima Kurobuta. This was served with sautéed red cabbage reminiscent of German sauerkraut and complimentary homemade condiments of beetroot chutney, chilli mustard and onion jam (these are served with orders of meat dishes). Could neither rave about nor fault the latter  generous portion of grilled salmon and prawns, calamari stuffed with herbs and breadcrumbs, served with roasted tomatoes and zesty parsley salsa on hot cast iron.

As its 2-course set lunches (only on weekdays) vary weekly, I waited 'til The Chop House Pork Burger was on the menu before dropping by. My dining companions and I ordered three different appetisers and main courses. Crispy calamari lived up to its name  coated and fried 'til crispy, served with coleslaw that we chose to give a miss. Both the Potato and Fennel Soup as well as Parma Ham and Plum Salad were mediocre, and Pan Fried Sea Bass was nothing to shout about. Unlike Australian grass fed beef Tenderloin and The Chop House Pork Burger. With a centre that was still of a pretty pink, the former was lovely whereas the latter was hearty. Thick, juicy and tender homemade patty of minced pork with ginger, chilli and coriander which made it all the more delectable was sandwiched between fluffy soft bread. With applewood smoked bacon, pickled cucumber and of course, lettuce and tomato slices.

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