Sherman's Food Adventures: Chop Steakhouse & Bar

Chop Steakhouse & Bar

Sometimes, heading into Downtown Vancouver is not very practical.  First, you have the traffic.  Second, many of the parking spots have been eliminated by bike lanes and certain right turns as well.  Third, it might actually be far away for some people.  Therefore, if one wanted the Downtown experience, particularly a steakhouse, it generally means The Keg.  But hold on there.  We do have some other options including Chop in Richmond.  Recently, I was invited to check out some of their most popular items.

We started with some appies including the marinated Steak Bites. Served on the side were dijon-BBQ dip and horseradish aioli.  Caramelized and seared appealingly on the outside, the sirloin bites were tender with a nice meatiness.  There was a noticeable pepperiness on the outside and a considerable amount of saltiness from the marinade.  I found the horseradish aioli very necessary to bring down the salt content with a soothing creaminess and a slight tangy kick.  Next, the Albacore Tuna Tataki was served on a bed of daikon radish, jalapeño peppers & edamame.  It exhibited a fresh sheen that was confirmed by its sweet buttery texture.  There was no absence of impact from the soy garlic lime vinaigrette as well as wasabi aioli and togarashi.  The dish could've done without the peppers though as they were pretty overwhelming.

Served with crispy and airy crostinis, the Beef Carpaccio sported seared tenderloin, capers, arugula, lemon truffle aioli, extra virgin olive oil & shaved Grana Padano.  I liked the bright colour of the beef as it looked fresh and vibrant.  Sliced super thin, the tenderloin really did melt-in-my-mouth.  I enjoyed the restraint used with the truffle as it was evident without being too strong.  When eaten with the crispy crostinis, there was a mouth-satisfying textural contrast.

Onto the mains, we had the Slow Baked Salmon with butternut squash purée & arugla pesto and herb quinoa.  The salmon was so soft, buttery and barely done that we mistakenly thought it was sous-vide.  Texturally it was on point and I didn't mind the slightly pink interior.  However, when fish is cooked so slow, caramelization on the exterior is often missing, which meant the flavours were pretty mild.  Somewhat of a surprise, the Half Oven-Roasted Free Range Chicken was both attractive to look at and a delight to eat.  I found the meat to be succulent (even the white meat) as well as being nicely seasoned.  Furthermore, the skin was well-rendered and tasty on its own.  The basil lemon pan jus added an extra shot of flavour and moisture to the already tender chicken.

As for the steaks, we were presented with a selection of sustainable 28-day aged beef.  The New York Striploin was done a beautiful medium rare with an even and aggressive sear on the outside. This resulted in a slightly crispy exterior with a good deal of smokiness. The steak was well-seasoned and richly meaty in flavour.  It was fairly tender with a few chewier parts. My favourite of the bunch was the Smoked Rib-Eye that delivered on the promise of smoky flavour as it really came through.  The smoke was pretty strong, but that was fine for me since it was impactful.  Furthermore, the steak was also done a perfect medium-rare where it was tender and juicy.

Lastly, we had the Bone-In Rib-Eye with garlic and shallot confit.   This was a massive steak that was a little more rare than medium-rare.  As such, the meat was pretty juicy while being a touch chewier.  It tasted great with the aromatics provided by the confit though.  From the items we tried, most were quite good.  Naturally, being a tasting, they were probably on their A game, but as I've said before, chefs are only as good as they can be.  Therefore, Chop remains in my mind a decent option for steak if you didn't want to head into Downtown Vancouver.

*All food, beverages and gratuities were complimentary*

The Good:
- Decor is consistent with Downtown steakhouses
- On point steak
- Non-steak items were good too

The Bad:
- Not unlike other steakhouses, it is not a cheap night out (but beef is expensive ATM)
- Meat was tender for sure, but could've been even softer IMO      

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