Monday, 10 March 2014

The Chophouse, Dublin 4

The steak chips and bernĂ¡ise sauce taster I had from The Chophouse at last year's Taste of Dublin event in the Iveagh Gardens was the best thing I tried on that pretty underwhelming day.  For me, it was perfect, big handcut chips cooked in what tasted like beef fat, a fantastic little piece of fillet and probably the nicest bernĂ¡ise sauce I had ever eaten.  
I immediately vowed to visit the restaurant but didn't get around to it until Christmas when, though I enjoyed my lunch, the (ribeye) steak I was served was overcooked and a world apart from the beaut above. However, I put that down to the Christmas rush/ lower lunchtime prices and vowed to return for the full evening experience as soon as I could.
My birthday last month seemed the ideal opportunity and so we made our way into the bowels of leafy Dublin 4 once again with our hopes still high.  It was a Sunday evening when we visited and the restaurant was very quiet with just a few tables occupied. (We had been warned that it actually closes at 8pm on Sundays and so decided to book for 6pm). My fishcake (above) was a little on the bland side but was crammed with fish (mainly salmon I think).

We both went for the special of the evening, a fillet served with a pulled pork topping. This was brought to the table with the pronouncement that we should get ready to enjoy the best steak of our life or words to that effect. Even if it had turned out to be the case, I found this attitude quite offputting; given that it didn't, it was even more so.

The dish wasn't a disaster or anything like it. The pulled pork was absolutely gorgeous and the celeriac puree super rich and moreish. However, the plate was cold and, more importantly, the steak wasn't great . It was soft to cut and cooked as I asked (medium) but if I had closed my eyes I would have sworn I was eating liver, so strong and metallic was the taste.

I happen to quite like liver so I could at least eat mine but K loathes it and abandoned his after a couple of bites declaring it 'disgusting'. I have purchased fillet steaks before that had a similar liverish quality but never as strong as this. I don't even know how this can possibly be detected before cooking but, overall, on the strength of my two visits here, this place is absolutely not serving the best steak in Dublin.

The chips too were poor relations of the ones in the top photo. They were much thinner and, I woud guess, cooked in oil not animal fat, lacking that lovely savoury flavour.We left before dessert, pretty disappointed.

On the strength of what I ate last summer, The Chophouse is or at least has been capable of great things.But it's not maintaining those standards.

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