Who doesn’t like a good steak? Someone who has never tried a good steak.
Couple of weeks ago I’ve been invited to ”meet the steak of my dreams” at Chop Bloc in Chelmsford. I couldn’t say no, as it’s only 30 minutes away and I’ve already had a very good review from a colleague and consistent flow of pictures on Chop Bloc’s twitter made me drool many times. Chop Bloc was launched in February and they have been a great hit since. Steve and Dave spent 2 years working on this project. From finding a site to doing all the research and tasting in the U.S. in order to bring back the best traditions and create the best American-style steak house. Extensive meat knowledge and passion for what they do runs in owners’ veins, their father is a local butcher who taught brothers how to pick their cuts and how to cure the meat properly(the end product is amazing!). Chop Bloc is settled in a three storey building in the heart of Chelmsford. First two floors are used for dining and top floor holds a Bloc Bar where you can enjoy a nice cocktail or a glass of wine from a very impressive selection. Bloc Bar has a lounge vibe with dimmed lights, chilled music and warm & welcoming atmosphere.Expect to see a lot of wood, leather, naked bricks, metal structures, beams and even butcher hooks as part of the decor.
First floor is perfect for big gatherings and celebrations with open tables and a great view directly at the kitchen. I don’t know about you, but I love seeing how my food is being prepped. Second floor has cosy booths and ‘C’ shaped leather sofas. Perfect for more intimate occasions and smaller groups. There is also an outside sitting area which will be a hit during the warmer Spring and Summer days.
Now, onto the food. We’ve have been massively spoilt by Dave and Steve on the night and we got to try probably half of their menu and a very great selection of wines that complimented each dish. We started off with Chipotle, Lemon Pepper and Honey Garlic Chicken wings that came with ranch dressing. Tender meat and great strong flavours, I’m a massive chicken fan so I was instantly smitten. We also tried Panko Pork Belly which came with the most amazing Ketjap Manis dip. I’m usually not a fan of pork but the meat was so soft and juicy, I couldn’t stop eating it. I should mention, that Chop Bloc doesn’t use any frozen ingredients and they don’t have any microwaves in their kitchen. Everything is fresh and cooked on the spot. After we got warmed up, Antonio(head chef who used to work for Gaucho) showed us how they cut and prepare beef. It’s a precise process and they end up losing 25% of the meat to make sure there is no fat. Each steak gets served in different servings(100g, 200g, 300g etc.) , Dave and Steve explained to us that the bigger the steak the easier it is to cook it to perfection. After we watched Antonio cut and prep our soon-to-be steak, our table started filling up with different starters and most importantly our rump and fillet steaks.
We were truly spoilt by choice, we had every side dish on the menu on our table so that we can get a taste. I didn’t know what to go for so obviously, I went for everything! Each dish was cooked to perfection and I’m a very picky eater. I loved their chips(normal and sweet potato), macaroni and cheese, asparagus, spicy corn, grilled mushrooms, mash, onion rings and green beans.
But of course the star of main course was my rump steak, cooked medium rare. It was one of the best steaks I’ve ever had, juicy, tender without any traces of fat, it was melting in my mouth. We had someone who normally doesn’t eat meat on our table and she ate all of her steak, so just imagine how good it was.
While we were enjoying our meats and sides we were offered a selection of red wines-Malbec and Pinot Noir(they have a great range of wines, if you are not great at picking your wines staff will be able to advise you).
Just when we thought, that we can’t eat any more. Dave and Steve started bringing out desserts. One of each, because why have one when you can try them all?! My personal favourite was a homemade brownie with gooey middle served with ice cream. I’ve also tried raspberry cheesecake and creme brule(normally not a fan, but this was lush!).
Once we finished our dessert we all headed upstairs to Bloc Bar(you can pop in just to have a drink) and had some dangerously fruity tasting Blue Ladies(think Sex on the Beach with rum).
I had the best night at Chop Bloc and it was lovely to meet other bloggers, the owners and lovely Anneka and Rhian from Roche Communications. I would definitely recommend a trip to Chop Bloc if you live in Essex or are passing by Chelmsford. Weekends are the busiest time so you would need to book ahead but on a weekday you can get away with a walk-in. Will I be coming back? Hell YES! I’m already planning my meal in my head, I just need to find a special occasion.
If you are not a fan of steak, you can always go for chicken or fish or even a vegetarian burger, there is something for everyone on Chop Bloc’s extensive menu(which they are trying to cut down to make picking your dishes easier). I really hope that when I come back everything is still on the menu because I loved it all!
To have a look at the menu and book a table, click here: http://www.chopbloc.com
PS I do think that I’ve met steak of my dreams that night!