Chop Shop in Haymarket
Chop Shop is the first London venture from New York restaurant conglomerate the Altamarea Group. With nine other restaurants and three Michelin stars to its name, the group comes to London with an impressive legacy. Under head chef Peter Lister, Chop Shop aims to combine New York and London styles, bringing an urban feel to Haymarket with an interior of exposed brick and reclaimed materials. It is these materials, perhaps, that lend the building its lived-in feel – an impressive quality for a newly opened restaurant. Split over two floors, Chop Shop is open from midday to midnight, serving lunch, light bites and full-on meaty dinners.
Before taking our table we enjoyed cocktails at the bar, served by a friendly barman. The Celery Gimlet, which combined celery-infused Plymouth Gin with lime juice, was refreshing and zingy, while the Haymarket, a rich and spicy twist on the Manhattan and a hark back to Altamarea’s New York roots, featured bourbon and sweet vermouth cut through with orange peel and pink cloves.
A wide variety of starters, ranging from jars of fish to planks of cheese and crocks of meatballs, means that you are rather spoilt for choice, but after much deliberation we opted for two jars to share, the Smoked Trout with Green Olives and Sour Cream and the Ricotta with Tomato, Mint and Basil. Served with satisfyingly thick slices of well-seasoned bread, the jars proved a light and moreish start to the meal, though perhaps not the most memorable.
The main course and the meat are what Chop Shop is all about though. Taking centre stage on the menu, the steaks and chops range from USDA Hanger Steak to Middle White Porchetta with Peaches and Crackling. We quickly settled on the Rosemary Brushed Beef Rib Chop and the Lamb Chops with Grilled Fennel with sides of chips and sautéed spinach. The suitably juicy beef rib came medium-rare (as recommended by the waitress) and with an attractive diamond char. It was complimented very well by an unctuous red wine bone marrow sauce and was soon stripped to the bone. The lamb chops were equally tasty and tender, also cooked to an accurate medium-rare and swimming in flavoursome juices. The chips and spinach were well-seasoned and the portion sizes about right, considering the quantity of the meat.
Unable to fit much more in, we shared a Butterscotch Custard for dessert, which combined salted caramel, Chantilly cream and of course butterscotch. This proved a great way to round off the meal, with the light texture reminding us of childhood bowls of Angel Delight, in the best way possible.
This New York-inspired central London restaurant wears its meaty heart on its sleeve and is unashamedly not a place for vegetarians. Its relaxed, intimate atmosphere and friendly staff mean that it is a great place to while away the hours and enjoy some prime cuts of your meat of choice.
Chop Shop: 48/60
To book a table at Chop Shop, 66 Haymarket, London SW1Y 4RF, call 020 7842 8501 or visit here.