Some women like to be wooed with flowers, handbags or jewellery, but seriously, who wants glittering trinkets when you can sink your teeth into a premium steak with gusto? Serve me one of these on a plate and I'm definitely calling you again.
We'd gathered at the Chophouse for dinner, but there was only one thing I really wanted to order - the tomahawk steak. It's a gargantuan-sized cut of beef: a rib eye dry-aged and cooked still attached to the rib bone. Known as a tomahawk steak or a cowboy steak, this hefty slab usually weighs about one-and-a-half kilos.
The raw steak is brought out on a massive platter for us to admire in all its glory, a celebration of protein with mouthwatering marbling protected by a thick layer of fat. We lust over it with alarming enthusiasm before it's whisked away to be cooked in a special ceramic grill.
Chops and Meat
Chophouse, modelled on a New York-style steakhouse, has a blokey-sort of sophisticated charm. The dining room is a mix of dark woods and distressed mirrors, the curved struts overhead in the ceiling resembling the rib bones of a giant beast.
Huon Tasmanian apple cider $12.50
A bottle of Huon Real Tasmanian apple cider kicks us off for the evening. It's quite a dry cider with a noticeable bottle fermentation that leaves a lingering fizzy aftertaste.
Seared baby yellow fin tuna $22
with tomburi, yuzu, witlof and spring onion oil
We'd tried to exercise restraint with our ordering, sticking to just mains and sides for our party of six. The kitchen, however, has recognised Suze as one of their regulars, and sends out three complimentary entrees.
Seared baby yellow fin tuna is the first to arrive, the bright pink overlapping slices served on a length of grey slate. The tuna is firm and fresh, lightly marinated in a dressing that is lively with yuzu citrus. Tomburi are the seeds from a ragweed plant (also known as burningbush, summer cypress and Mexican fireweed), particularly prized as a delicacy by the Japanese where it is known as land or mountain caviar.
Sauteed wild mushroom salad $18
The sauteed wild mushroom salad is a salad only in name, a mere handful of rocket leaves providing futile resistance against the gluttony of pan-fried wild mushrooms, mushroom pate and four golden orbs of deep-fried smoked mozzarella.
Crisp ricotta stuffed globe artichokes $18
Artichoke puree, reggiano and grilled chorizo
I'd been intrigued by the ricotta stuffed globe artichokes on the menu, so I'm quite pleased when they appear on the table. It's a delicious combination - the nuttiness of artichoke complemented by smooth and creamy ricotta cheese, shaved reggiano and the textural crust of deep-fried bread crumbs. I'm more interested in the artichokes than the chorizo, although the slices have a tempting char.
Wagyu corned beef and white sauce $46 for two people
Blackmore full blood wagyu 9+ with braised cabbage, potato puree and braising juices
The wagyu corned beef is our first main to arrive, made using Blackmore full blood wagyu with a 9+ marbling factor. The thick slices of corned beef are soft, fatty and tender, but perhaps a little disappointingly oxidised and discoloured by the time they get to the table. It's served in a copper pot on a bed of thick and creamy potato puree and a small mound of braised cabbage.
Snapper pie (daily special) $28
We've also ordered the snapper pie, flaky layers of pastry covering a creamy casserole of snapper chunks in white sauce. The dish is warm and comforting, but I find the inclusion of truffle oil a little distracting and unnecessary.
Pasture fed black Angus tomahawk $144.50 for 1.7kg ($8.50/100g)
Full rib on the bone
The star of the show is undoubtedly the tomahawk steak, pre-carved into thick slices and served with three different sauces. We can smell the Maillard reaction as soon as it's placed on the table, a nose-filling aroma of caramelised protein combined with the luscious temptation of rendered fat.
Pasture-fed black Angus tomahawk steak
We'd asked for our steak to be cooked medium rare but it arrives more in a rare state, a condition I'm more than partial to. This is the steak of your dreams, an overwhelming orgy of rare beef beneath a thick charcoal crust and a layer of fat that threatens to clog your arteries. It's the smoky crust that wins me over, almost crunchy between the teeth.
Of course it's the bone that's the best part, offering up strips of caramelised fat that we carve off with a steak knife, a primal celebration of predatory carnivorousness.
Staff tell us that the steak is often ordered by sole diners, but for most people this steak will feed about three. Our tomahawk steak weighed in at an impressive 1.7 kilograms.
Shoestring fries $8
And it's not a steakhouse dinner unless you have fries. We share two bowls of the shoestring fries, thin and crunchy, and a dish of the cauliflower gratin, smothered in gruyere sauce and a layer of toasted sourdough crumbs.
Cauliflower gratin with sourdough and gruyere $8
Triple chocolate mousse cake $12.50
Our gluttony knows no bounds and we find room for dessert. It's amazing how quickly you get used to eating more than you should. We share three desserts between the six of us, starting with a triple chocolate mousse cake. There's a secret layer of raspberry coulis between two of the layers, but when it starts leaking it looks more like dessert has sustained a fatal injury.
Pear crumble $12
Pear crumble is a rustic offering, covered with a thick crumble topping and served with a small teacup containing a toffee-topped creme brulee, although really I would have preferred a scoop of plain vanilla ice cream on the side.
Peanut butter and jelly ice cream $12.90
Our final dessert is the peanut butter and jelly ice cream, not as peanutty as I'd expected, and a little more watery in consistency, like a light gelato. I do enjoy the fat chunk of honeycomb on the side, sweet and brittle and deliciously sticky.
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7/18/2011 03:10:00 a.m.