Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Christmas Days Out - Cambridge Chop House

A week of driving around the outskirts of London was pretty amazing. The only problem was going anywhere from Islington took an age, especially when you gave no idea where the shortcuts are.
Just to drive up to the M25 through Edmonton took an hour. Well we learnt our lesson the hard way.
Cambridge was a joy even with the freezing cold weather and the thick fog that allowed us to see about 5 metres in front of us. We were wondering if we would ever make it or see anything when we arrived.
U never realized that the centre of Cambridge is a shopper’s paradise, which kinda depressed me a tad. I came for the Colleges and the Imperial architecture not to look at a branch of so and so that I see everyday back home. So we kinda steered clear of the centre and walked around it.
I’d not done any research about where to eat in Cambridge as I just assumed we would find a few places worth eating at. How wrong we were, apart from your chain restaurants and quite a few places selling jacket potatoes, there wasn’t that much on offer. Luckily we found the Cambridge Chop House, and it was a damn good find at that.

Wandering around the old college’s reminded how lucky we are to have such a heritage and history in this country. Makes me proud it does.
We found out the Cambridge Chop House is part of a chain of Chop Houses and other restaurants in Cambridge.
Its menu of hearty English fare was a welcome sight after a day of wandering around in awe at the beauty of this town in near arctic conditions. Damn it was a cold day. We were offered the punting tours, but in this weather you had to be either insane or a Japanese tourist. So being neither on this day anyhows we declined and scampered off for some nosh.
In true Chop House tradition the menu is big and hearty. Looking at it evoked a time of Edwardian debauchery and over eating. A time of big meals, large trousers and larger braces were the sign of a good Chop House.

This modern version still serves up some large portions for damn reasonable prices. The chalkboard of daily specials spell meat heaven. I was pretty tempted to have one of the veal or baby tortured cow chop but somehow the lure of some thick cut bacon and a duck egg with chips was too good an offer to turn down. Sometimes I just want food I enjoy eating at home, nothing fancy just plain simple good food.
The bacon was as it said thickly cut, with a lovely duck egg and some hand cut chips. It looked a small portion but by the end I was pretty well stuffed. But I had just eaten the whole basket of bread. This was all washed down with some local ale from the kegs behind the bar. Wondrous warm and comforting meal

Lina had the fisherman’s pie with a side of greens. This tasted really good and very freshly made. Lovely chunks of mixed fish along with a velvety béchamel sauce and a smooth grilled and crispy mash potato topping made this the star of the show. It was an award winning pie. One of the best I’ve eaten in a long while. I’d even go so far as to say it was better than mine. Modest I am sometimes.

I want to return to Cambridge in the Spring or Summer where we can punt down the river in between the colleges admiring the fantastic architecture. But more importantly we can try the other Chop House in this chain. 

The Cambridge Chop House on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

TomEats said...

One other suggestion would be go in the summer, get one of the wide punts, fill with a lot of alcohol and go the other way (over the weir and upstream) towards Granchester. Get more drunk at the pub and float back.

One of the best ways ever to spend a day!