Unusual finds at the Chop House

Madsen’s been raving about the Cambridge Chop house for some time now, so I thought it about time I went myself. We started upstairs, perusing the menu over a drink. I went for a pint of the rather tasty Nethergate IPA at a light 3.5%.

When we headed to the cellar restaurant, our bottle of 2006 ‘Foot of Africa’ pinotage was waiting, and at the perfect temperature: it had a nice soft taste to it, and was superb. Hungrily, I tucked into my starter of game terrine. It was delicously gamey, and not too dry. It went nicely with a well-presented side salad, and marinated baby onions. The fresh bread that came was soft and delicious. My friend had opted for the beef tomato, filled with prawn cocktail. It was very soft, probably because it had been peeled, and the prawns were perfectly presented, without too much sauce.

It wasn’t long before the main courses arrived. My friend had the shallot tart, with its promise of Wigmore cheese (a sheeps’ milk cheese) with pine nuts and rocket. Sadly, the dominant taste was  of the shallots. I’d taken the steak and kidney pudding route, and was rewarded: an excellent pudding, with top quality steak, mushrooms, and carrots, and well-cooked kidney. The suet pastry was sufficiently thin as to not be too filling. It came with a nice fluffy mashed potato, and we both had plates of steamed green veg: it took me a minute to work out it was young curly leaf kale, and was lightly coated in a salty butter.

Puddings came, too! I enjoyed the bitter chocolate tart, with vanilla ice cream, and my friend had the selection of english cheeses. These included a mature cheddar, some kind of soft goat’s cheese, what I think was Somerset Brie, and Beenleigh Blue. After that sumptuous banquet, we headed upstairs, for port – from 1995 – and a glass of muscat. We’d spotted Wyken’s English Rosé champagne, and decided to finish off the evening with that. A mistake, sadly. It was fizzy alright, but it was fairly bland and tasteless, but was an interesting enough experiment.

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