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Butler's Wharf Chop House review
Butler’s Wharf Chop House
36e Shad Thames
London SE1 2YE
I know it’s the wrong bridge but the line, “Earth has not anything to show more fair”, swept into my mind as I gazed at Tower Bridge, backlit by a sunset, from a perfectly-placed outdoors table on the banks of the Thames.
It is an ideal, quintessentially British view to complement the focus on traditional dishes that “explore classic and nostalgic recipes” from around the British Isles.
Even the interior - with its minimalist, pale lagoon-coloured décor and wooden slats - is designed to draw the eye to the views and concentrate the mind on the exquisite food.
I had a grilled goats cheese and beetroot salad (£7) to start where the generous, melt-in-the-mouth portion of chevre was dusted with spring onion. My friend ordered a Colchester crab salad, with tender pieces served with broad beans and peas (11.50).
As a non-meat-eater, the choice of a “Chop House” may ring a little false, but my companion is a thoroughbred carnivore and I was feeling indulgent and a little intrigued to see what might be on offer. I was not disappointed.
The “salmon steak” (18.50), dressed with lemon and watercress, left me more satisfied than my pescetarian diet has for a long time. It was truly steak-like, with a meaty texture and succulent flakes peeling away from the bone. The taste was less overtly fishy, than flavoursome with a tantalisingly salty coating.
The Chop House is renowned for head chef Martin Kroon’s passion and expertise in cutting and preparing meat and there are courses for those wanting to learn the art of butchery.
My friend jumped in for the 300g fillet steak (£36), which is farmed in Essex and hung on the bone for 28 days before reaching the Chop House’s charcoal grill. Although it came a little overdone for his “medium rare” request, he declared it the finest steak of his experience.
Staff were pleasant and attentive during the meal and buzzed around with various breads to soak up the sauces.
Feeling sated, the lemon posset dessert seemed suitably light but in keeping with the evening’s decadence. Zestful cream was served on a biscuit base – buttery, crumbly, and simply divine. My friend stayed in keeping with the traditional theme and went for a sticky toffee pudding with toffee sauce and Jersey clotted cream.
It really is worth booking an outside table and soaking up the unique atmosphere with a bottle chilling in a cold bucket beside you – we went for the delicious Patrick Piuzi Chablis Terroir de Courgis (£53).
The view justifies the price for the right occasion, but for £19.50 there is a three-course set menu with a very reasonable selection