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Chop Shop SW1
A Berni Inn for our times; in the heart of Theatreland, an inoffensive midmarket steakhouse - a useful enough place, but we couldn't really see it as becoming any sort of 'destination'.
How many things can you forget when you open a new West End restaurant? OK, let's rephrase the question, how many things would you expect a multi-restaurant NYC operator (Altamarea Group), in conjunction with a former director of Rowley's, to neglect to have installed by the time a restaurant had already been running for 10 days?
Virgin Mary to start? Sorry, no tomato juice. Toothpick. Sorry, not got them yet. Coffee? Yes, fine' but in a beer mug. And that sorbet advertised on menu du jour? Well, you can probably guess. Yes, soft opening was still in progress, but still. Kinda basics.
So what is there? A pretty straightforward mass-market steakhouse, as far as we could see. A fish mousse and toast was a nice simple starter, before a steak presented with a straightforwardness that verged on school dinners. Here's your meat, nicely sliced up, admittedly. And here, on the other side of your small (10') plain dinner plate, are your chips. No parsley, watercress, tomato, carved carrot, cuddly toy'nothing. The overall quality of the food struck us as broadly comparable to the similarly bare-bones but much more tightly-packed and hip Flat Iron, not so far away in Soho.
That's it. Perfectly useful place if you should find yourself in the area, and nice staff too, but distinguishing features were hard to find.
66 Haymarket, London, SW1Y 4RF
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