I first heard of Chop Shop through good ol’ Instagram. I really feel that Instagram has taken over as the best form of social media for companies to promote themselves. As I tend to find that a photo can attract the attention of one person quicker than 140 characters. Anyway, so if you haven’t already you should head over and take a look at Chop Shop’s Instagram page, it would make you drool over all their food photos and thats what got me really wanting to try the restaurant. Does their food look as good as it taste?
I booked a table for three @ 7pm in advance for last Friday (26th February), as you never know how busy restaurants can be on a Friday night in London. Now top marks for great customer service over the phone. The lovely woman who I spoke to on the phone several times that day was really nice, polite and friendly. I first called up to reconfirm as I missed their phone call, I then called up at 6:50pm to say i was running late and will be at the restaurant by 7:15pm and finally I called up at 7:15pm to push back the booking till 8pm as my friend was running late. Throughout all the times I spoke to the same woman on the phone she was very friendly and polite. You might think, isn’t that just standard telephone etiquette? Yes and no.
Despite all that in the end my friend who was running late didn’t turn up so it was dinner for two. The restaurant is located in Haymarket, London (near where Planet Hollywood is). Chop Shop is part of the Altamarea Group. The company has several restaurants in hand in New York and other places in America.
I didn’t take any photos of the decor of the restaurant, so you will need to visualise this part in your head. Now from the outside, my first impression was that the restaurant looks small, as the entrance is quite small. However as you get inside the restaurant is long and has two floors. At the entrance on the left hand side is the bar, which has tiled decor and on the right hand side is exposed brick wall and industrial pipe work and big silver lighting lamps are hung from the ceiling. On the ground floor, the tables are arranged in two’s, which can easily be put together and at the back are larger tables to sit up to 6 people. We sat at the back in the corner on a round table for three. Overall the restaurant itself has a very unique, cosy yet spacious feel.
The menu is spilt into different sections. You have the specials which run between 12-7pm (early) and 10-11pm (late), with a choice of 2 courses for £19pp or 3 courses for £22pp. Other sections were made up of starters, salads, steak and chops, mains, cocktails and desserts for you to choose from.
From the menu I ordered:
Best-End Barnsley Lamb Chop (180g) cooked medium-well done – £17
Sides (to share):
Chips (with rosemary sea salt) – £3
Red Desirée Mash (with crème fraîche) – £3
Fentimans Pink Lemonade – £4
Truthfully speaking, I was quite disappointed with the presentation of my main dish. Like most restaurants, you expect a side garnish of salad or something, all my dish had was a slice of glazed parsnip. Granted the parsnip was nice however I think paying £17 for the dish I expected more than just a parsnip, having said that the lamb chop was good. I didn’t order any sauce to go with it and I’m so glad I didn’t ask for any condiments, as the flavouring in the lamb was really nice. The lamb was cooked perfect and was not chewy at all.
Onto the sides, again disappointed with the portion size for the chips (see first photo), as paying £3 I expected it to be a bigger portion. Think it’s a bit cheeky using a small shallow cup to fill up the chips. There wasn’t anything spectacular about the chips, as I couldn’t taste the rosemary sea salt.
For the mash, I was quite surprised with the dish. Wasn’t expecting the way it looked, as you can see from the photo its not your usual looking mash. Mash I’ve had in various restaurants the mash is in a puree form (if thats the correct word to describe it), however the one served at Chop Shop you can still see the chunks of potatoes. Even though this dish was a surprise, like the chips there wasn’t anything spectacular about it, however this dish is much better than the chips and more value for money.
For the drink, it wasn’t something that was unique to Chop Shop as it was a branded drink. But I like the rose flavour you get to the lemonade, nothing too strong that would ruin the lemon taste.
As I was sat at the back, I couldn’t see if the restaurant was busy, however as I left the majority of the tables were filled on the ground floor, but the service was a little bit slow. I didn’t think there was enough staff to look after the customers. Me and my friend waited for a long time to get the bill and when we did, we had to wait again to actually pay for the bill.
The total cost for my dinner between two people: £50. Chop Shop does not include service charge for parties under 6 (I think, I can’t remember the number), which I think is really good as there are only a handful of restaurants in London that do this.
Despite some disappointment with the food and the slow service, overall I thought the food was nice, some dishes were questionable in terms of the taste and money. But if you’re are in London and want to they something new then you should give Chop Shop a go.
Must try dishes: Steak and Chops section
Dish to avoid: Chips. For the price expected a bigger portion and was pretty average.
Have you been to Chop Shop?