After success across the Atlantic, the Altamarea group have set up shop in London offering a mix of US and British steaks, starters and sides.
This is the first non-US outpost of the Altamarea group, which has well-regarded restaurants in New York City and elsewhere on the US East Coast. While those venues specialise in fish and Italian food, Chop Shop has a modern mid-Atlantic menu placing steak and chops centre stage.
Steaks range in price from £16-£26. Cumbrian rump steak (£19) and Barnsley lamb chop (£17) were both high-quality meats cooked as ordered, and our waitress steered us towards medium-rare for the steak, which suits rump much better than rare. Fries were hot, salty and crunchy; creamed spinach was well executed.
But there’s more to Chop Shop than grilled meat. We had two good small dishes as starters, a white onion mousse and cotechino scotch egg. The latter, using a good example of the coarse Italian cotechino boiling sausage, was particularly successful. Well-dressed seafood salad showcased sprightly (if slightly over-soft) ingredients. Toasted bread of exceptionally high quality was indicative of the attention to detail here.
There are good beers on tap, and house cocktails (£9) avoid the excessive ‘inventiveness’ of many novelty-seeking lists. The cost of the wines on the list is the only downer: two bottles at £19, but only five others under £30. But a dozen wines can be ordered by the glass.
Chop Shop is attractive – high ceilings, some quirky decoration (e.g. one wall embedded with butchers knives and cleavers), the mandatory exposed brick. The prices, apart from the wine list, are very reasonable. The service was great. Haymarket has long been a restaurant wasteland. Chop Shop bucks the trend, and we hope it prospers.