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Monday, July 18, 2011

Tomahawk steak at Chophouse, Sydney

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
with smoked mozzarella, roquette and lemon oil

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.

View Larger Map
Chophouse on Urbanspoon

25 Bligh Street, Sydney
Tel: 1300 CHOP IT or 1300 246 748

Opening hours:
Monday to Friday 12pm til late
Saturday 6pm til late

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32 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 7/18/2011 03:10:00 am


  • At 7/18/2011 3:59 am, Blogger Unknown said…

    Wow! I cannot believe the size of that tomohawk steak - brilliant and a great name as well...

  • At 7/18/2011 5:41 am, Blogger Miss T said…

    Are there any cows left in Sydney? looks tremoondous.!
    T x

  • At 7/18/2011 7:12 am, Anonymous Chris said…

    woah, for a second there i thought it was just you and suze who went to eat all that food oO;;. No gnawing on the bone?

  • At 7/18/2011 7:46 am, Blogger Michelle Chin said…

    All my guy friends would enjoy this!

  • At 7/18/2011 8:06 am, Anonymous Tina @ bitemeshowme said…

    That steak................ is epic! Wow. I jumped the gun and thought that you all had ordered one each! Haha. Very impressive :)

  • At 7/18/2011 8:52 am, Anonymous Tina@foodboozeshoes said…

    Drool.... Those entrees look to die for...!

  • At 7/18/2011 9:02 am, Blogger Two fit and fun gals said…

    wow all that food and am i reading it write- only shared between THREE ppl? lol

    love the look of the fish pie!

  • At 7/18/2011 9:06 am, Blogger Mel said…

    I can't believe anyone could eat that steak just to themselves - they must own really stretchy eating pants.

  • At 7/18/2011 9:25 am, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    oh baby steak of our dreams!!! lol @ chris our appetite is awesome but not that awesome!

  • At 7/18/2011 9:39 am, Anonymous gastronomous anonymous said…

    wow the steak looks amazing! and the entrees are superb! its been a while since my last visit - must.get.me.that.tomahawk.steak!

  • At 7/18/2011 9:39 am, Anonymous Maureen said…

    There's enough food here to keep me going for a week. :) What a first-rate dinner! That steak is perfection on a plate.

  • At 7/18/2011 10:10 am, Anonymous Minh said…

    lol @ our leaking dessert! Oh man, the memories of that Tomahawk... Definitely a steak to remember

  • At 7/18/2011 10:24 am, Anonymous Adriana said…

    I cant believe the size of that steak. Ouch did your heart hurt after haha. Nice post, i too am "one of those girls" who like a good steak :)

  • At 7/18/2011 11:22 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'll dream about that steak tonight. The best thing is that is pastured beef! Will have to drag two dining companions to sink my teeth into it.

  • At 7/18/2011 11:27 am, Blogger joey@forkingaroundsydney said…

    That is one mother of a steak! Don't know I would pay so much for a hunk of beef though no matter how great!

  • At 7/18/2011 12:18 pm, Anonymous Dumpling Girl said…

    That is one humongous piece of steak, I can't get over that there are sole diners that can wolf that piece down. The crisp ricotta stuffed globe artichokes look so enticing though.

  • At 7/18/2011 1:29 pm, Blogger Phuoc'n Delicious said…

    What a stella effort from 4 of you! Damn that's a huge chunk of meat, I'd be screaming yabba dabba dooooo as well!

  • At 7/18/2011 1:49 pm, Anonymous Hannah said…

    Is it okay if I give you my share of the Tomahawk and gobble up the deliciosu delicious (surely) mushroom pate, cheesy cauliflower, and fried artichokes? I'll even take the watery peanut butter jelly ice cream off your hands... that's the kind of friend I am. :)

  • At 7/18/2011 2:56 pm, Blogger sugarpuffi said…

    that is one champion steak!

  • At 7/18/2011 4:37 pm, Anonymous Jacq said…

    That steak looks awesome! And I have to say that the wild mushroom salad looks pretty tempting as well, definitely a salad that I can make friends with since it's got fried cheese!

  • At 7/18/2011 4:38 pm, Anonymous Nic@diningwithastud said…

    Hahaha you girls are awesome!! Such a great meal :) the steak is freakin amazing!

  • At 7/19/2011 4:25 am, Anonymous Matthew said…

    This place does look good. I have heard great things about it, and as an Aussie guy, I love a good steak. Nothing pleases me more than a Friday night out, having a good steak, a nice red wine, and a bunch of friends, so excellent review and advice!! Thanks.

  • At 7/19/2011 9:14 pm, Anonymous JasmyneTea said…

    Wow, wagyu corned beef! Not something I see every day!
    I showed Stephen that Tomohawk steak and his eyes lit up. Guess we're going soon!

  • At 7/19/2011 9:51 pm, Anonymous obesebaby said…

    oh whats that creme brulee alike thing behind pear crumble.. iwanna eat that one more!

  • At 7/20/2011 12:27 am, Anonymous K | Citrus and Candy said…

    Ummm sweet memories... I was so in love with the potato puree! If someone is willing to treat me to a tomahawk, I would LOVE to try and eat that whole thing by myself. I'm slightly confident that I could do it as long as I have pots of that awesome harissa and chimichurri to go with it hehe.

  • At 7/20/2011 3:15 am, Blogger TheHungryMonkee said…

    OMG!! The steak looks so good!!! I will be sure to try the food here!

  • At 7/20/2011 9:22 am, Blogger Brenda said…

    Hhahaha love your opening line!
    I think I'll have steak tonight, you've given me a major craving : )

  • At 7/20/2011 9:57 am, Blogger susan said…

    I can't believe someone would be able to eat that steak on their own, amazing!

  • At 7/21/2011 5:19 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Great site great photography!

  • At 7/23/2011 7:56 am, Blogger Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul said…

    Wow! Now that is what I call a great piece of meat! Love everything that you indulged in Helen!

  • At 9/20/2011 12:29 am, Anonymous eden @ nutsaboutmynuts said…

    holy crap t his is on my next list of places to go !
    and omg those fries look sooo good

  • At 7/02/2012 11:49 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I recently went to chophouse as well and ordered a steak - medium rare but they served it alomost rare which i had to ask them to cook it a little longer. wonder if that is how they cook medium rare?


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