The Quality Chop House of today was opened in 2012 but the site on London’s Farringdon Road has been home to a restaurant since 1869. And it feels it: the Grade-II listed Victorian décor and church pew style seating don’t exactly scream comfort and modernity.
But then you don’t go to The Quality Chop House if you want to lounge around in soft furnishings amid low-hanging lightbulbs – you come for chef Shaun Searley’s modern and innovative cooking, not to mention the restaurant’s legendary chops.
Despite being open less than a decade (in its current form, at least), The Quality Chop House already feels like a London restaurant institution, such is Searley’s seemingly effortless ability to put together a menu that is so satisfying.
Simplicity is the key here, with the restaurant serving an à la carte menu for lunch and dinner. Dishes change daily although you can always expect a chop on the menu as well as a large steak and its legendary confit potatoes are seldom missing either. Beyond that you’ll more than likely come across options such as smoked cods roe accompanied by some crunchy radishes, some sort of parfait or terrine and fresh fish.
Dishes come served on all manner of vintage crockery and the friendly intensity of the small kitchen to the rear is palpable. And with its wine list of interesting New World bins and some more esoteric drops, you may linger longer than at a more ‘comfy’ restaurant.