The Chophouse | Satisfying a carnivorous craving… with a view

From carpaccios to a classic grilled steak, eat and drink in the company of wonderful views and staff who know their stuff

rachelzc
Rachel Zammit Cutajar
14 November 2014, 12:30pm
Now that winter has finally settled in there is no better way to spend an afternoon than sitting around the table enjoying the finer foods that the summer heat simply does not allow – the fact that you can hide away the extra tyres under big sweaters is a bonus and allows for that extra glass of wine, some dessert and after dinner liquers. So goes the winter.

During the summer I tend to go off red meat a little and red wine too, come to think of it. However once the temperature drops a bit, I get a carnivorous craving that is near insatiable.

That and a need to spend some quality time with a friend leaving for Tennessee in a few weeks, was the perfect excuse to head down to Chophouse. Though it’s been open for a while I haven’t had the opportunity to go and having heard great things about this steak house, I was quite excited to give it a try.

Because it is run by Julian Sammut along with his other Kitchen Concepts projects – of Gululu, Café Cuba, Vecchia Napoli and La Cucina del Sole fame - our expectations were high. His is a name is synonymous with great dining experiences on the island.

Parking around Sliema is a nightmare at the best of times, however when dining at Chophouse you can make use of the parking facilities at Tigne Point free of charge. If it’s cold and rainy outside, you simply follow the signs through the car park until you’re inside the restaurant, no need to risk getting wet!

The location is absolutely stunning. Just a stone’s throw from the water, the views are of the Valletta magnificent skyline across the bay. Malta’s relatively mild winters mean that sitting outside is possible through most of the year and with great big outdoor heaters and blankets provided by the friendly staff, why not make the most of our sunny days and enjoy your meal outside?

The starters menu contained a selection of carpaccios, salads, and soups. Even more exciting is the calamari served with preserved orange and pistachio crumble, The Chophouse’s own fish cakes with tartar sauce, pork brain fritters with golden raisin and caper dressing and fresh local mushrooms simmered in garlic, among others.

If you’re really hungry, go for a pasta starter. There are few ordinary dishes here. Go for the papardelle with basil pesto and almonds, served with oyster mushrooms or the paniciotti – pasta parcels – stuffed with scallops and prawns and served with white wine, cherry tomatoes and a garlic and herb sauce.

This is, after all, primarily a steak house so meat dominates the selection of mains. The breed of cattle changes the texture and flavours of the meats so these are listed on the menu. A number of meats are from Scottona cows – females that have never been pregnant and re no more than 15 – 16 months old. This ensures exactly the right muscle development and marbling. When cooking, the fat melts into the meat for the most intense flavours as well as the tenderest meat.

In the end we shared a duck liver pâté with caramelised onions and carob syrup and prawn tempura with a pineapple chimichurri for starters and a veal rib-eye served on purple potato mash and the beef churrasco – a flat cut of Argentinean beef, marinated in garlic and seared on the grill.

The wine list is extensive, with a great selection from the new world and old. To ensure these wines are served in the very best condition, they are kept in a temperature- and humidity-controlled room at the back of the restaurant.

If you are interested in wine and want to learn a little more, why not try the Chophouse wine school. Fun classes run by wine-buff Hubert will give you the confidence to talk about wine with authority and make the right choices.

Whatever you do, be sure to leave room for dessert. The selection of homemade desserts are sure to make you forget just how much you’ve eaten and go for the whole shebang – white chocolate cheesecake, chocolate fondant with orange crème anglaise, jasmine tea crème brulée… the list goes on.

Wind down your dinner with a glass of port and maybe even a cheese board – good thing the car isn’t that far away because walking any long distance will be impossible after all that food.

All in all the experience was great. Good food, coupled with warm and friendly service, reasonable prices and outstanding views. If you’re organising a Christmas get together, whether with friends, family or colleagues, The Chophouse should definitely be a contender.

The Chophouse

Tel: 2060 3355

Email: [email protected]

Web: www.chophouse.com.mt

rachelzc
Rachel Zammit Cutajar graduated in economics from the University of Malta...