It doesn't take long to sense a buzz around something foodie related in London. When i started to spot tweets buzzing about amazing Chops in Soho, I knew it wouldn't be long before I paid the basement at 24 Great Windmill Street a visit, and what better time than over a long Bank Holiday weekend?
Its one of those blink-and-you'll-miss-it places (or that could be me getting distracted by something as per) but make sure you don't. We descended down the small staircase into a surprisingly bright warm space and I immediately became excited....
The menu is small and centred around Chops, perfect for someone like me who just cannot cope with too much choice (I was worry that i might miss out on something). On the pillars, the menu continues with details of their Big boy chops and the smaller chops on offer.
We chose to order the 'All in' which for £20pp gave us some starter nibbles, 2 sides and a mixed platter featuring lamb, pork and beef chops. We chose the Kale & Pecorino, Heritage Carrot & Meat Radish sides aaand the 10 hour ash roasted sweet potato, because to not order more sides would be just awful.
I ordered a Nettle Gimlet, made from Nettle Cordial and Beefeater Gin, to accompany my impending meat feast, with The Boy ordering a Beer. When i saw how small the martini glass was, I immediately groaned a little as I had visions of super super strong (okay, nail varnish) cocktail. I took a sip, and was so surprised to find that the Nettle Cordial was palate cleansing and sweet, leaving the final notes of Gin to gently sing the final notes. Delicious. It wasn't long until food came our way...
First up, the 'Pre Chop Bites'. Sadly, not gluten free for all you Coeliac's out there but I did try them. Served on a small rye cracker the first was the Cheese & Pickle bite. Now, I expected a slice of cheddar and maybe a little pickle (it's been a while since I've been for dinner) but in reality what I got was a taste explosion of sweet softly pickled veggies with a touch of tang to them piled on top of a slice of blue cheese. Oh So Good.
Next, the Dripping Ham. A slice of what I'm guessing was smoked prosciutto ham on top of Dripping. I haven't ever had Dripping served like it and decided to ignore any pre-conceptions and get stuck in. It was like a roast dinner in my mouth. I don't know how but yeah, incredible.
Then, oh then, the main event arrived. A pile of juicy meaty heaven. A promising platter of deliciousness. We tucked into Pork Loin, Pork Belly, Lamb Neck Chop and Lamb Chops & Beef Short Rib. As someone who doesn't love Chops and finds Pork to be pretty dry my mind was changed, Each meaty morsel was juicy, flavourful and had that Charcoal licked taste that immediately gets me excited for Summer.
We ordered both the Chilli Hollandaise and Green Sauce to try with our meat. The Chilli Hollandaise was creamy with a good punch to it but it was the Green Sauce that was the sauce star. It was refreshing and light which helped to break up the juicy meatiness just enough.
The Heritage Carrot & Meat Radish side was topped with Fennel seeds that usually I would avoid but it proved to be the perfect light, almost Coleslaw-like salad (but Vinegar not mayonnaise based) that went lovely.
The Sweet Potato was, as expected, delicious. Sweet and soft. Moreish and lets face it, Sweet Potato rocks.
It was the Kale side that was the real eyebrow raiser out of the 3. Pretty much raw purple and green Kale was topped with slightly melt-y grated Pecorino cheese... doesn't sound like much but my lord, what a combo. I could eat a whole large bowlful. If only I knew the recipe. Not convinced? I was dining with a man who for 8 years has been the fussiest eater and will only eat his greens if covered with Butter but when he tasted this side, I had to fight to get the plate from him so I could have some.
We pretty much licked the plates clean.
Pudding? Only one on the menu, a White chocolate cheesecake with a Rhubarb Compote. We ordered one to share, I took over the delicious Rhubarb compote and had a few spoons of the White chocolate creamy topping (I don;t really rate White chocolate but again, I was proved wrong and couldn't help a little foodie smile after tasting).
The Summary... Great staff. Great Cocktails. Great Flavours and beyond Great Meat. Well, what do you expect from a Head Chef that earned his stripes serving at Hawksmore?
Go. Take friends. Order a carafe of wine and the All In chops option. Get the Kale salad. Eat, drink and get 'Off your Chops' in a small cozy location below the streets of wonderfully mad Soho.
Website here. Twitter here.
Lots of Love
xxx TTN xxx