The Chophouse is a fairly new addition to Merchant City’s already long list of restaurants and was recently highlighted to us by a couple of readers who had recommended the burgers there. Formerly Sizzlers Steakhouse, the Chophouse sits on Albion street, with the main customer entrance located nearby in Merchant Square. There’s plenty of seating options, from outside in the Merchant Square area, to the main restaurant and even through at the very cool looking bar. Overall, our first impression was that Chophouse just looks cool and moments after walking in the door, we were already looking forward to trying the burgers!
We began to look over the menu after we’d sat down and before even two minutes had passed, a staff member approached our table and said “do you know what you want to order?”, to which I replied by asking if we could have some drinks and a few minutes to actually look at the menu first. There was no welcome, not even a simple ‘hello’ and the service at first felt quite cold and somewhat rushed – a jarring contrast to the cool atmosphere that we experienced when we first walked in and the ‘warm and welcoming’ atmosphere that’s described on the menu, as shown above. After having a chance to browse the burgers on offer, we settled on a Chophouse burger, with an added extra patty and a Glasgow burger.
Let’s start with the presentation, which was very good. The burgers were both served on a white serving plate with the fries stashed in a mini-fryer basket on the side. Both looked appealing, but how did they taste?
The Chophouse burger consisted of two beef patties topped with applewood cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions and burger sauce on a lightly toasted bun. The patties were thin and charred on the outside; however, they were slightly overcooked and quite greasy, which was disappointing. The patties were also so hot that it was impossible to lift off the top half of the bun, as the bread just stuck and transferred on to the meat. The meat wasn’t badly seasoned, but nothing really jumped out as being a standout flavour. The menu stated that each burger comes with burger sauce, but I wasn’t able to taste anything, so if it was here then there wasn’t a lot of it. The bun used; however, was excellent, very well toasted and held everything together superbly. It tasted light and fresh and was ever so slightly sweetened.
The Glasgow burger came on the same bun, but consisted of a beef patty topped with haggis and salad and was served with peppercorn sauce on the side. Unfortunately, as you can see from the photograph below, the burger was very overcooked. The patty was very dark on the inside and dry and crispy on the outside. The haggis was quite tasty, especially paired with the peppercorn sauce; however, the beef was so dry that most of the burger ended up being left on the plate. Again, the bun was good but a good bun sadly isn’t enough to save overcooked meat. The Chophouse burger was a little overcooked, but it not to the extent that this one was.
Both burgers were served with skin-on Maris Piper chips, which were great. They were nice and crispy, tasted fresh and had a lovely earthy quality to them. I ended up dipping them in the peppercorn sauce that was leftover from the burger we didn’t eat.
At the end of our meal, one of the members of staff came to take our plates away, one of which had almost an entire burger leftover. We were asked ‘are you finished?’ and after answering ‘yes’ and expecting to be asked if everything was okay with the food, as is usually standard in any restaurant, our plates were simply lifted and taken away. The near-entire burger that was leftover seemingly had gone unnoticed. My first thought was to complain, but we just wanted to leave, so we paid our bill and made our way out.
Overall, the Chophouse was an interesting experience. The interior and overall atmosphere were both very cool and it’s the kind of place that looks like it should serve great food. Some of the other food that we saw coming out of the kitchen looked absolutely delicious; however, the burgers that we ate didn’t appear to be up to that same standard. Normally, I would have said that I’d probably go back to try something else on the menu but after the slightly cold and unperceptive service, I’m in no rush to head back.
Price: Chophouse Burger £9.95 / Glasgow Burger £10.95, extra patty £2
+ Good presentation.
+ Good bun.
+ Tasty fries.
– Dry, overcooked patty.
– The patties on the double Chophouse burger were quite greasy.
– Staff didn’t even notice that almost an entire plate of food was left over, usually an indication that someone hasn’t enjoyed a meal.
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