1. Photographer: Quality Chop House
    Photographer: Quality Chop House
  2.                                     Photographer: Quality Chop House
    Photographer: Quality Chop House
  3. Photographer: Quality Chop House
    Photographer: Quality Chop House
  4. Photographer: Quality Chop House
    Photographer: Quality Chop House
  5. Photographer: Quality Chop House
    Photographer: Quality Chop House
  • Restaurants | British
  • price 4 of 4
  • Clerkenwell
  • Recommended


Quality Chop House

4 out of 5 stars

An stunningly evocative Clerkenwell chop house, where meat – and the finest potatoes in town – is the main draw


Time Out says

Quality Chop House is one of London’s most atmospheric dining rooms, and it won’t let you forget it. Born in 1869, the restaurant’s two ground-floor rooms luxuriate in dark, wood-panelled walls, chequerboard tiled floors, candlelit tables and creaky grade II-listed pews which have since been upgraded with large cushions to accommodate the girth of a twenty-first-century arse.

If you didn’t know better you’d assume that you’d been teleported into a Dickens novel, your jeans exchanged for breeches, and a hearty pie supper and small beer placed in front of you after your long day of shouting at children in the workhouse. You also wouldn’t be far wrong (minus the shouting at kids). Despite the fact that head chef Shaun Searley has been in charge of this Clerkenwell kitchen since 2012 (following a stint at east London’s ever-hip Bistrotheque) a hushed kind of Victorian tradition is upheld at Quality Chop House. 

If you didn’t know better you’d assume that you’d been teleported into a Dickens novel

Surroundings aside, this is most obvious in its majestically meaty menu, which offers little in the way of succour for vegetarians, and even less joy for vegans – which is entirely understandable when you consider the name of the place. It’s a chop house, for goodness sake! As such, unadulterated slabs of flesh remain the main drawn, and they range from £34 to a mindblowing £96 on our visit, making the old etched-glass slogan on the window which announces ‘Progressive working class caterers’ nothing short of trolling. 

Stratospheric prices are in part due to the Quality Chop House’s commitment to working with the finest producers in the country, but it was also clear by the time the third candle-adorned cake was brought into the room that this is a spot saved for special nights and celebrations. In an attempt to keep our bill on the lower end of the scale, we dug into the snacks portion of the menu, expecting these dishes to be small, sub-starter-sized offerings. A warning – they are not. Consider the hefty Brixham brill spine with preserved lemon, a massive serving of flakey flesh on the backbone which could easily work as a main, or a rich chicken liver and foie gras parfait which not only came topped with a small mountain of black truffle shavings, but two hunky wedges of brioche to spread it on. Mangalitza shoulder croquettes with pickled walnut ketchup were smaller – and cheaper at a fiver for two – but no less flavourful, oozing punchy pulled pork from the dense and crispy nuggets. 

There were only two mains which weren’t chop or steak – an artichoke tart and yet more Brixham brill – and we plumped for a Berkshire chop, juicy and fatty in all the right places and served alongside Quality Chop House’s signature side, confit potatoes. Epic poems have been written about less than these chic carb bombs, which remain one of London’s greatest dishes – thinly, tenderly sliced cubes which have been fried to within an inch of their lives in duck fat to make fluffy, perfect salty roasties. If the cost of this place puts you off, then ignore everything else and book a table purely to sample these £7 spuds. 

The vibe An old-school Victorian dining room minus the stuffiness and overriding threat of typhoid. This is a place for celebration. 

The food Meat, meat and, ooooh, some more meat. Vegetarians need not apply, but a pescetarian might get away with it. 

The drink A lengthy wine list will impress oenophiles, but £6 glasses of house red, white and rosé are perfectly serviceable. 

Time Out tip Get the confit potatoes or live in a world of regret. 


92-94 Farringdon Road
Tube: Farringdon tube/rail or bus 19, 38, 341
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