Last Friday, the weather was really beastly, it was finally my time, and it was actually the perfect day for it. The menu is full of hearty dishes and was just what was needed. As we walked in, the smells in the dining room we so enticing, we knew we were in for a treat.
There are 2 dining areas, the restaurant and the bar. We booked in advance so were in for the 3 course set menu in the restaurant area which suited us fine, the bar was packed and people were turned away, so I'd certainly advise booking, or showing up early.
I started with a martini and we ordered a bottle of the house red. What followed was one of the nicest meals I've had this year.
Then came the smoked middle white pork fingers, breadcrumbed and served on a herby green sauce.
The waitress had explained that the starters come in small plate form to share so we were expecting little dishes. Actually, what followed was a lot of food for 2 people which came as a huge relief! This dish didn't sound too exciting but was really lovely. The delicate mackerel was served warm, with the cucumber cubes and blobs of beetroot puree. We both loved it.
This is the bone marrow with smoked chicory. Everything was mixed together and served on the bone. It was intensely meaty and rich and was another highlight.
We asked for some more bread to enjoy with the next dish, sweetbreads with chicken liver parfait and burnt onions. The char on the onion was wonderful, as was the parfait, slathered on the bread. The sweetbreads were good, but were outshone by the parfait.
Then on to the main course. Roast shoulder of middlewhite pork served on a bed of salt baked celeriac, apple and onion puree and red kale. Also served with this was a side of runner beans with pumpkin seeds and a mustard dressing. This was exquisite. Served pink, the meat was so tender with a good ring of fat and crispy crackling. All of the vegetables too had something extra elevating this above just meat and veg. It was pretty much perfect.
We were rather full by this point so declined the cheese course, available with the set menu for a supplement, we just couldn't find room. The dessert was simple but special, frozen raspberries with a crunchy chocolate biscuit crumb, toasted marshmallows on chocolate ganache and malted barley ice cream. An excellent end to a memorable meal.
All this for £35 plus drinks and service, I think this is such good value for the standard of cooking on offer. We paid just over £100 altogether.
Topping it all off, the service was also exceptional, so friendly and helpful and the plates warrant a mention as they're so pretty. An enviable collection. The wine was excellent, bottles start from £18 and there's a huge by the glass selection. The only thing I would say as a negative, is that you share tables and if you're by the wall, you need to disturb your neighboring diners to go to the loo. Also, the guy sitting next to me had his foot up on the seat, which is a padded bench type affair, so his feet were right next to me. Thankfully he left not long after we arrived.
Having checked out the bar menu I'm already keen to return and try the other room. A brilliant little place with a seasonal daily changing menu meaning you'll never have the same meal twice. I should also add that they have been known to serve deep fried dauphinoise potatoes. I don't think my life will be complete until I have them.
The Quality Chop House
92-94 Farringdon Road