Hilary Sturzaker is a self professed foodie and Edinburgh based blogger, you can find her writing about food and drink at mymonkfish.com and regularly on BBC Radio Scotland’s ‘Kitchen Cafe’.
What a great place for a date! Buzzing during the day and well into the evening, the Chophouse has a relaxed vibe and some of the best food in Edinburgh. It’s the perfect place for a first meet – not too quiet but not too loud, you’ll be able to hear yourself speak and enjoy a conversation.
You can also dress to impress and equally be pretty casual, there’s no rules in the fashion stakes here although it’s pretty on trend so you’ll see a few beards and plenty of denim – nothing wrong with that!
The Chophouse has a very cool interior, with white tiled seats (heated on cold days), grey scandi wooden chairs, exposed brick walls and copper lighting all helping to create a laid back but stylish eatery.
If you’re there for Sunday lunch as we were, then treat yourself to a Bloody Mary to kick things off. The bar staff really know their stuff when it comes to cocktails and the drinks are great! Aside from cocktails the wine list is extensive and they have some great craft beer on tap too including their own limited edition beer brewed at Drygate in Glasgow. There’s plenty of choice for non-alcoholic drinks too including some great fresh juices; I’d recommend the apple, pear, berry and beet which is served in a very cool kilner bottle.
What to eat? Well, beef is, and should be, your order of the day so perhaps step away from the Chophouse if you’re not too keen on red meat as this is really what they do best. Staff are extremely knowledgeable about the cuts of meat available and will recommend something if you’re unsure. If you’re going to make the most of your visit, then perfect for a date is the chateaubriand sharing cut; It’s a budget option, but you’re paying for the quality of the produce and once you’ve tasted it you’ll be in steak heaven.
Non-meat lovers should not be put off though, as there is plenty of seafood and fish on the menu and if you’re going in for brunch, they serve some of the best eggs benedict in town as well as crushed avocado on toast, lobster omelette, buttermilk pancakes and a whole lot more that should cover most people’s taste.
For our visit, we started off with crispy squid with green chilli mayo, melt in your mouth stuff and just a little teaser before our main courses arrived.
As we are sometimes known as Mr and Mrs Predictable there was only one choice for mains and that was the fillet steak cooked rare. It was unbelievably good! You’re also given a choice of an accompanying sauce from brown butter hollandaise, bone marrow gravy, béarnaise, peppercorn or chimichurri, which are all served in cute little copper saucepans.
You’ll need probably 3 or 4 sides between two of you and we opted for onion rings, fat chips (there’s skinny chips too!), charred asparagus and field mushrooms. All hit the spot, and for lunch that was more than enough between the two of us.
After a breather we perused the dessert menu and sticky toffee pudding soon arrived with two spoons. The accompanying pecan ice cream and toffee sauce were so good, the ice cream cut through the sweetness of the sticky toffee. We licked the plate clean…almost…
The Chophouse is really good, we’re fairly fussy about how our steaks are cooked but we were definitely not disappointed! Away from the food, the atmosphere was also great, with a mixture of couples, families, groups of friends, and some people just in for a drink creating a nice buzz around the restaurant.
We were there earlier in the day, but imagined into the evening it gets very busy, so booking is essential and ask for a table in the window as we reckon they’re the best in the house.
Just as an aside the team are about to open another Chophouse in Edinburgh at the New Waverly Arches so if you can’t make it down to Leith then it’s not a problem! The team behind the Chophouse also have a couple of other great locations in Edinburgh including Monteiths and Sygn, but the Chophouse feels like the real flagship of their empire.
Lunch for two including drinks £102, absolutely recommended!