Dinosaur ribs and mojitos!

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By Lee-j Walker

In a quest to get the right balance in life, my wife-to-be Zoe has insisted I watch the Netflix documentaries such as Cowspiracy and Seaspiracy.

Without getting into the detail too much, the outcome for her is that she wants to eat less meat and fish and eat more plant based food, the outcome for me however is I’m remaining firm on the steak front, I do love a ribeye!

That’s why I was really pleased when I was kindly invited to review the new menu at Chophaus the modern steakhouse in Oakwood on the edge of Roundhay park.

We were welcomed by Simon the assistant manager to the fancy light bulbed terrace that overlooked the vast green park. I immediately felt relaxed, with the venue creating an almost holiday vibe which let’s be honest, this year has been a lacking in this department due to running a media and events company!

The “World’s Best” Mojito

Spritz Royale

Continuing the holiday feel, my first refresher was what can only be described as the best mojito ever. A pineapple and coconut number, very cheeky. I’m quite fortunate that I used to live in warmer climates so have enjoyed many mojitos, so this is quite the accolade to be the world’s best. But it was absolutely fabulous.

Zoe enjoyed a Spritz Royale which was a lovely aperitif too, she wanted more, but was designated driver this evening. Unlucky Zoe!

So to the food and the first course. Chophaus offers two entree options, small snacks or small plates both reasonably priced from £4.95 to £12.50. All quite the fusion offering with ingredients spanning from Japan to Calabria.

Grilled Scallops Tomato Dashi Ponzu Ndjua Oil & Crumb

Sauteed Prawns Garlic Chilli Butter Mango & Chive

We opted for the small plates, myself with the grilled scallops tomato dashi ponzu ndjua oil & crumb which lasted two seconds and Zoe with the sauteed prawns garlic chilli butter mango & chive. Both a nice light start for the main meat affair and washed down with the remainder of the cocktails.

I’d happily sit there and sample a number of those small plates they were that good. Maybe I should consider that terrace, a warm day, an array of starters and plenty of mojitos for an afternoon of steady pickling. Who’s coming?

On to the main event and the reason we came here…the grill!

90% of the steaks I consume are ribeye or a cote du beuf when either out or at home, so to give this restaurant a test I went for the 300g grass fed Hereford ancho ribeye.

‘Twas very pleasant and I enjoyed it very much with its garnish of crispy onions and pickles with fat fries and njuda topped Mac and cheese that just felt comforting.

The 300g Grass Fed Hereford Ancho Ribeye in the foreground with Zoe enjoying her steak

I was really enjoying this until the next table brought out what can only be described as dinosaur ribs. I had rib envy which I’ve never had before seeing the biggest most succulent looking ribs ever. Next time I go, I’m ordering the dinosaur ribs for sure (I think they may have been the beef short ribs if I’m totally honest).

Zoe opted for her favourite, fillet steak. A 220g grass fed Hereford lomo fillet, this too was accompanied with the same garnishes but she went for the normal fries, now I don’t know how many times they fried them but my goodness Blumenthal you have competition.

I washed my ancho down with a large glass of Dr Zenzen, Privatkellar Spatburgunder Pinot Noir. I’ve never had German Pinot before and I wasn’t disappointed although I’d have maybe wanted something a little more bold for the bold flavours of the steak and njuda topped mac n cheese.

Salted Plantain Dulche De Leche & Banana Cheesecake

Spiced Churros & Tonkabean Vanilla Caramel Purin

We’d gone with every intention of avoiding desert, but we realised for our readers we felt important to be able to give a fully balanced review so we of course ordered a duo of naughty finishers, with me on my holiday vibe devouring the salted plantain dulche de leche & banana cheesecake and Zoe having a crazy pudding of spiced churros & tonkabean vanilla caramel purin. Zoe was completely stuffed by this stage and annoyed she couldn’t finish. Obviously me being such a gentleman I rescued this situation swiftly by finishing both.

Overall I enjoyed Chophaus a lot, it’s cool and has a nice atmosphere.

Crucially not only does it cater to dinosaur eaters but also has some options for vegans and veggies too. Overall the cocktails are on point and the grill is worth returning to for sure.. I’ll certainly be going back for an afternoon session soon.

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