The Quality Chop House

British, Wine Bars·
££££
·
Silver Award
·

SquareMeal Review of The Quality Chop House

Silver Award

There aren’t many Grade II-listed dining rooms in London, but this is one of them. Founded in 1869, the restaurant’s décor, which includes wooden booths on cast iron legs, black-and-white tiled floors and papered walls recall its relatively humble Victorian origins, even though The Quality Chop House is now a thoroughly modern enterprise. With a second dining room, private facilities and an adjoining butcher’s/food store, it’s a buzzy spot for lunching throughout the week and a cosy spot for a glass of wine and a juicy chop of an evening.

The excellent-value daily set lunch menu displays a touch of wanderlust – just like our Victorian forebears – so expect dishes such as Belted Galloway mince on dripping toast, or Cornish pollack partnered by brown butter, capers, garlic and sea purslane. On the dinner menu, celeriac risotto with cow’s feta, pickled walnut and mint makes a feisty little starter, while mains such as fallow venison with winter chanterelles, parsnip, sprouts, bacon and chestnut are just the ticket for anyone in need of comfort food. Of course, you’ll always find chops and steaks on the menu, though these can very easily drive up the price of your meal.

Desserts such as pear and ginger sticky sponge with spiced cream, and treacle tart served with crème fraiche are just the sort of thing you’d hope to see on the menu. Service is perfectly paced thanks to staff who are “enthusiastic and knowledgeable”. The wine list is updated monthly and includes plenty of excellent labels, and there’s a separate single bottle list featuring oddities, rarities and bin-ends. This comes as no surprise since the co-owner, Will Lander, is the son of British wine critic, journalist and wine writer Jancis Robinson. One reader summed the whole place up nicely when calling it “damn fine piece of work”.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cuisines
British, Wine Bars
Ambience
Dark and moody, Lively, Traditional
Other Awards
SquareMeal London Top 100
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch, Sunday roast
Special Features
Vegetarian options
People
Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating

About The Quality Chop House

Over 150 years old and still going strong, Quality Chop House has been a fixture of Clerkenwell for longer than anyone can remember. The current incarnation launched in 2012 under owners Will Lander and Daniel Morgenthau, and the restaurant has since built a rep as one of London's underappreciated hidden gems. 

The chequered black and white floors, polished wood and blackboards feels every bit an old English restaurant, and that rustic charm extends to the menu too. Head chef Sean Searley has a masterful touch with British classics, and combined with the Quality Chop butcher next door, that means Quality Chop House is a ideal for steak lovers and meat eaters - in fact, if you book in advance you can place orders for specific meat cuts and Quality Chop House will endeavour to have them on the menu for you.

The rest of the menu is British, with a few cues from the Med. The menu starts with a variety of snacks and starters - chicken liver and foie gras parfait, turbot with preserved lemon and pork shoulder croquette with black pepper mayo - before moving onto mains from the grill and Quality Chop's iconic confit potatoes. Desserts are also excellent, sliding neatly between British comforts (apple crumble tart with custard) and lighter options (Capezzana olive oil ice cream). There's also a Sunday menu that predictably contains some of the best roast dinners in London - as a result, nabbing a table at Quality Chop House on a Sunday can be touch and go.

The wine front shouldn't be ignored either. With Quality Wines next door, Quality Chop House has an extensive wine list available, but also boasts a 'cellar list' of rarer wines. 

 

Location

92-94 Farringdon Road, Clerkenwell, London, EC1R 3EA

020 7278 1452

Website

Opening Times

Lunch
Mon 12:00-14:30
Tue 12:00-14:30
Wed 12:00-14:30
Thu 12:00-14:30
Fri 12:00-14:30
Sat 12:00-14:30
Sun 12:00-16:00
Dinner
Mon 18:00-22:00
Tue 18:00-22:00
Wed 18:00-22:00
Thu 18:00-22:00
Fri 18:00-22:00
Sat 18:00-22:00
Sun Closed

Reviews

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2 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Oli E

13 May 2016  
Fantastic, confident food in a lovely space. Wonderful wine and great service too.

Ellen F

28 May 2013  
Food & Drink 4.5
Service 4.5
Atmosphere 4.5
Value 4.5
Quality by Name, Quality by Nature
The Quality Chop House has just got one of the highest ever scores in 11 years of the life of our informal Dinner Club. OK, sometimes the scores get “bigged up” by whoever booked the place and this time 2 (out of 4) of us claimed it for our own. And OK we may have been euphoric at being fully quorate for the first time ever with all 4 founding members plus all 4 (now married) partners. But this characterful place does deserve its praise. Be aware that it's a set menu and changes daily, so there's little choice, but don't let that put you off. We had a 5-course menu of starters, fish, meat, cheese, and dessert, starting with radishes as amuse bouches. Yes, radishes! Radical, rustic, tasty and an indicator of things to come. The 2 main events came served up on enormous platters to share: first 2 whole white fish, simply presented (a small sharp sauce on the side), the focus on the clean, fresh, flakey flesh; followed by 2 ginormous bones with hunks of fat, chunky steak hanging off them, cooked rare and melt in the mouth spectacular. Don't expect chops but do expect good ingredients which shine through simple, sensitive cooking. There's no way 8 would have fitted round a table downstairs which is a relief as seats look like old church pews, designed to remind of your sins and make you repent; so we were in the private room upstairs, furnished in fairly typical generic retro fashion, with food served up on plates picked up at a car boot sale no doubt, and which comes with a small private bathroom complete with a rather incongruous shower. Service was perfect: easy marks for in-depth explanations of the food and willingly tweaking the menu for dietary requirements but bonus points for touches like clocking the pregnant one and offering some freshly made elderflower cordial without actually asking “are you pregnant?”. At £75 a head (£50 for our menu, £35 I think for the 3-courses offered downstairs, plus booze and service), it was bloody good value for something that scored 9.5 on food, service and what we embarrassingly still rate as “coolness”.
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