From the guys behind Sygn, Monteiths and The Westroom which are all well-established bars/eateries in Edinburgh, Leith Chop house was opened last year as their latest venture. The menu at Leith Chop House is based upon British meat which is dry aged for a minimum of 35 days in their unique dry-ageing fridges before being butchered on site and cooked on an open flame charcoal grill.
These dry-ageing fridges can be seen through glass shutters that divide the restaurant which is a great touch. The décor is minimalistic; unvarnished wooden tables and large boards with all the prime cuts of meat on offer. The restaurant itself is fairly small with 40 covers.
We were slightly early to arrive so enjoyed a drink at the bar. What was frustrating was that we could see our table was free, however, we were ushered to the bar area to buy a drink while we waited. This did seem like a bit of an upsell tactic which isn’t too bad on its own, however, this was a theme that continued throughout the night.
The menu, as you can imagine, is mainly geared towards the carnivore. However a few fish dishes and a vegetarian options are also available. We were asked if we would like to buy bread which we declined. I often think that this should be complimentary especially when they already had the side plates set on the table. The waitress was very enthusiastic at describing the menu and the cuts of meat on offer. Despite saying that we were ready to order we were told in great detail about a special cut of beef that was aged for around 90 days which we were then left alone to think about for another couple of minutes. In the end the waitress returned and we decided to go for the food we told her we were ready to order 5 minutes earlier.
Since the menu is a meat lovers dream I thought it was only right that I opted for ‘Ale Glazed Ribs’ as my starter. These were not disappointing. The meat was so tender and fell straight off the bone and the glaze gave them a sweet stickiness. Served with a fennel, apple and cucumber slaw this lightened the starter and added freshness. A great start to the meal.
Ale Glazed Ribs
Oysters were also popular choice at the table; not something I am keen on myself but they were well received by two of my fellow diners. These were served with a rather small piece of lemon and tobasco. On arrival an extra piece of lemon was requested, however, we were told that another piece could be brought out if we finished the first one. I thought this was a very strange comment but after insisting we would definitely need more, another piece was brought out.
For main I went for my favourite cut of beef; the Ribeye. This was cooked to perfection which for me is medium-rare. Just the right amount of charring from the open flames gave the steak a lovely barbecue flavour and the meat was tender and succulent. The chimichurri sauce, which I added as a side, was delightful. It had bags of flavour, a slight sharpness from the vinegar but not overpowering. The herbs were finely chopped and chilli gave it some punch.
Ribeye with Chimichurri
Three rump steaks made up the remainder of the orders at out table, one with chimichurri and 2 with brown butter hollandaise sauce. On the whole these were very well received, although one of my friends did feel that the meat could have been more tender.
Rump with brown butter Hollandaise
As you have to order your sides separately we went for four different sides to share between 4 people. Dripping chips which were crispy on the outside and fluffy inside. Skinny chips which were almost a bit too skinny, therefore making them slightly greasy in my opinion. Kimchi Slaw which was unlike any other coleslaw I have tasted and was really fresh, spicy and full of flavour. Lastly, Baked Beans and Pork Belly; which were again very tasty and complimented the barbecue flavour of the steak. The sides were really good overall but I was so disappointed in the size of them. The portions were small and I’d say 2 sides per person would have been ideal. However, at £3 per side dish this soon adds up.
When it comes to dessert I find it hard to resist ‘Sticky Toffee Pudding’ and at Leith Chop House this was no exception. I was pleased when it arrived and I could see that it had lots of sauce covering it. This all came after another upsell attempt of dessert wine to accompany our final course. The sponge itself was light and the sauce was heavenly. Unfortunately the Pecan Ice Cream had a lot of ice crystals through it and was therefore not very pleasant to eat.
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Across the table an impressive cheese board went down well and definitely deserves a mention.
Throughout the night there were highs (the ribs and my steak) but unfortunately many lows. Other cuts of meat which had been eaten at the table were tougher and not as succulent. Also, for the price I feel that you have to add on too many extras to make it a complete meal, making it pretty expensive and reducing value for money. Finally, throughout, yes the waitress was super friendly but almost too overpowering and always trying to upsell which can leave the diner feeling a little uneasy.
Leith Chop House is a restaurant that I feel will get better with time as they have got a lot of potential. For now though I think I will wait a while before I return.
Leith Chop House
- Atmosphere - 7/107/10
- Food - 7.5/107.5/10
- Service - 5.5/105.5/10
- Value for Money - 5/105/10