I'd been eyeing up the Chophouse which sits quietly at the corner of Shelbourne Road and Bath Avenue for a while. It's got a kind of uninteresting exterior which had never tempted me to cross its threshold. Occasional rumours had surfaced of good gastropub food and drinks, but my usual source of information (Twitter) was staying mum. And then I saw a tweet from The Chophouse itself announcing a new brunch offering.
Fast forward to a bright, cold May Saturday morning, with both of us wearing medically-required sunglasses and sorely in need of some tasty, soul-nourishing food. The entrance to the Chophouse leads directly into a sunlit conservatory and something in our addled brains insisted that we should take a seat at the sunny tables. Despite the friendly staff, it took quite a few minutes for menus to be delivered, but when they arrived, it was to the accompaniment of a basket of fresh brown bread.
The main brunch menu is short, with just 6 courses, but is supplemented by the specials board where Chophouse Rarebit battled it out with New York style steak and eggs. Of course, brunch isn't brunch without cocktails, and the Chophouse is no exception. My bellini came with a full snipe of bubbles and a generous pour of freshly squeezed peach juice (€6.50). Despite the restorative nature of the prosecco, we were literally feeling the heat in the conservatory so we moved indoors to shadier climes.
|Prosecco bellini with fresh squeezed peach juice|
The interior is charming and simple, with clean colours and muted painted panelling. Cookbooks from famous restaurants and chefs are arranged on shelves along with a wide selection of red wines. We relaxed into a deep leather sofa (with our backs to the sunshine) and got on with the hard job of reading the papers.
Himself had ordered the seared rump of prime Hereford steak, served with grilled tiger prawns, crushed avocado, tomato relish & twice cooked fries (€16.00). It was beautifully chargrilled, and served sliced on top of a piece of crusty bread to soak up all the juices, with a generous drizzle of hollandaise sauce on top. I had chosen a special, the New York style steak and eggs, or ribeye, caramelised onion, chips and dips with truffled mayo (€22.50). Ribeye is my favourite steak cut, and this didn't disappoint. The thick chunky chips were perfect for dipping into my selection of sauces, particularly the tangy and pungent mustard-truffle mayo.
|Seared rump of Hereford steak with grilled tiger prawns|
|New York style steak and eggs|
Both of us were very content by the time we had cleared our boards (yes, the steaks are served on wooden chopping boards), but when a steak costs €22.50 for brunch, it should be good. To be honest, I thought that his cheaper meal of turf 'n' surf style steak and prawns was the better dish. While we were eating, we could see a chalkboard advertising a very tempting porterhouse steak for 2, which definitely sounds like a reason to return. I don't plan on a herbivore lifestyle anytime soon. Two Americanos rounded off the meal at €2.50 each.
Famous chef Anthony Bourdain is a fan of The Chophouse, having eaten there on several recent visits to Dublin and it recently took the gong for best Gastro Pub in the 2012 Irish Restaurant Awards. Proprietors Kevin Arundel and Jillian Mulcahy have definitely achieved a lot with a venue that has only been open for just over 2 years. In short, it's a grown-up gastropub.
The Chophouse, 2 Shelbourne Road, Dublin 4
Tel: +353 (0)1 680 2390