If ya like meat, or even just food generally, or are partial to an exquisite cocktail, then Chop Shop is your dream destination.

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Located smack bang in the middle of the theatre district, Chop Shop is the perfect place for pre-/post-theatre cocktails, or a scrumptious bite to eat from their express (£19.00 for 2 courses, £22.00 for 3) or a la carte menu.

Fairly inconspicuous amongst the barrage of chain restaurants to be found in tourist town, Chop Shop is a hidden gem amongst the Pizza Express-Wagamama-ASK rubble.

So go in.

The bar will meet you first, with a high counter and walls steeped in all sorts of booze and glasses of all shapes & sizes, you’ll want to take a pew.

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Especially since between 5-7pm Mon-Thurs all house cocktails are half price!

Who were Zoe & I to resist such an offer?

A ‘Passione Arrabiata’, chili-infused Olmeca Plata tequila, passionfruit and fresh lime for me, and a ‘Masala Mai Tai’, garam masala Havana Club 3 rum, fresh lime, almond and orange curacao for her.

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What a beaut.

Both were tasty and suited our individual preferences, though, be warned, the ‘Passione Arrabiata’ certainly has a kick.

So far very content with our choice of use of a Tuesday evening, we moved to our table.

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Chop Shop is part of the Altamarea Group, a highly acclaimed restaurant & hospitality company in New York, which has succeeded in re-creating the NYC ‘lively neighbourhood restaurant’ vibe here in London.

Stripped back to its original features, the restaurant provides a relaxed atmosphere as a result of its high ceilings, distressed dark wood paneling, exposed red-brick walls and beautiful large reclaimed tiles.

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Chop Shop has both an urban and intimate feel to it, with 75% of all the materials used in its design being reclaimed.

Back to food.

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The menu features some Altamarea favourites, including ‘Morini Meatballs’, the ‘Patty Melt Burger Sandwich’, as well as new collaborative dishes such as the ‘Cottage Pasta Pie’.

It’s rare that I want so many things from each section of a menu, so we took our time debating our options.

Eventually settling on the smoked trout jar, green olives, crème fraiche (£5.00) and smoked ham hock Scotch egg with salsa verde (£6.00). ‘Cos ya can never have enough of anything smoked, right?

The smoked trout jar was tasty. Coarse-textured, creamy, fresh fishy pate spread on warm, toasted (limitless) bread is always going to down well. At least it is when I’m around.

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But better yet was the Scotch egg.

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#Yolkporn wrapped in warm, meaty-rich ham hock encased in a thin layer of crunchy, grease-free breadcrumbs.

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Paired with the refreshing salsa verde, it was particularly delicious and tasted deceivingly light.

To pay appropriate homage to our impending meat feast, we ordered a bottle of ‘Malbec, Catena Appellation, Argentina, 2012’ (£35.00).

Mains consisted of the Creekstone USDA hanger steak 180g (£18.00) and 8-hour USDA short rib for two, BBQ glazed, slaw (market price).

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Despite our best efforts, I honestly can’t tell you which we preferred; both dishes were simply the very best that they could be.

A cut of meat that I would usually avoid, I found the hanger steak to be surprisingly tender. Cooked exactly as requested, both Zoe & I couldn’t get enough of the soft pink beef.

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As for the short rib, the meat truly FELL off the bone. Riddled with thin layers of warm, unctuous fat, the meat was insanely juicy & tasty, which contrasted delectably with its charred outer surface.

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Can you tell we liked it?

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The chips, rosemary, sea salt (£3.00) were decent, and good value.

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The creamed spinach (£4.00) was even better, perfectly done.

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All soaked up in béarnaise and vodka bacon peppercorn sauce (£2.00 each), we were two incredulously happy piggy little customers.

But after a well-deserved (and required) rest break, the cheeky barman with his impeccable cocktail-making skills was too hard to resist, and two espresso martinis simply had to be done.

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Oh, and dessert.

We shared the chocolate brownie sundae (£6.00) and warm treacle tart with vanilla ice-cream (£6.00).

The sundae took me back to the days of McDonald’s pre-McFlurry’s (shout out to all the 90’s kids who remember this), with the same soft-serve-style vanilla ice-cream seeped in hot chocolate sauce, but with the added bonus of hidden jewels of chocolate brownie chunks.

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The treacle tart was equally as immense. Perfect pastry supporting sweet, sticky, filthy-rich golden syrup amalgamated breadcrumbs.

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Zoe & I (unsurprisingly) rode our protein sugar high for the next few days, but agreed that each bite had been worth every calorie.

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The décor, the cocktails, the service, the FOOD and the value for money makes Chop Shop an absolute winner for me.

We love, love, loved it!

9/10

I dined as a guest of Chop Shop, but all opinions are my own.

Chop Shop Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Square Meal