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Leith Chop house
Leith Chop house

14/09/2015

On Saturday 19th September a new addition to Leith's bustling culinary scene will open its doors on Constitution Street. The Compass Group's directors Mark Fraser and Michael Spink are adding Leith Chop House to their growing estate that already includes Edinburgh outlets Sygn, Montieths and The WestRoom.

Leith Chop House will open 7 days a week, offering a casual dining experience based on the classic British steakhouse. The meat will be butchered in-house before hanging for up to 90 days in the restaurant's dry-aging fridges. Leith Chop House is committed to placing the highest quality of British beef at the heart of the business. 

Michael Spink commented: "We wanted to go back to basics and create a classic British steakhouse where the ingredients take centre stage, so sourcing the very best beef is crucial for us at the Chop House."

Premium beef is butchered in-house under the expert guidance of head chef Brian McConnachie; a process that ensures he can offer a range of sharing cuts to enhance the core steak menu. After thoroughly researching the beef offerings in Scotland, and visiting several butchers and farms, the Leith Chop House kitchen team decided to take supply from Burnside Of Balhaldie's award winning Highland Wagyu, Hardiesmill Farm's prime Aberdeen Angus and Shaws Fine Meats, who source from several small Scottish farms. 

Whole sides of beef are then dry-aged for up to 90 days with Himalayan salt in the Chop House's dry-aging fridge, which forms a feature of the main room. With full control over the temperature and humidity, Brian and his team can ensure the meat is as tender and flavorsome as possible. Leith Chop House is the first restaurant in the UK to take delivery of this unique dry-aging fridge that launched earlier this year. Gordon Ramsay has also ordered one for his iconic Bread Street Kitchen site.

Once dry-aged, the steaks are cooked to order over an open-flame charcoal grill that was custom-designed and hand-crafted by a local metal-worker. This method of cooking imbues the meat with a subtle, smoked flavour. 


Mark Fraser commented: "The Chop House has been an exciting project and we think it'll bring something really different to the shore. From sourcing the best beef, to dry-aging and butchering it in house and cooking it over open coal, we're committed to serving the best steak in the city."

On Sundays, the Chop House will celebrate roast beef, with a special menu offered throughout the day when diners can enjoy various cuts of beef with all the trimmings. Michael commented: "We love the ritual surrounding the Sunday roast and we want ours to be stand out."

The core of the menu will be prime cuts of beef such as fillet, sirloin and rump with large sharing cuts such as chateaubriand and porterhouse also available. The menu also features 9 starters, including house-smoked salmon, lobster bisque, steak tartare, ribs and a heritage tomato salad; and 6 main courses including grilled lobster, dumplings and a house burger.

As well as a carefully-crafted menu, Leith Chop House has an unrivalled drinks offering including a bespoke cocktail menu unlike anything currently available by The Shore. Bar manager Michael Lynch is incorporating seasonal ingredients and boutique spirits into a fresh and vibrant range of signature cocktail serves. His range of long, refreshing shrubs and daisies promise to be particularly popular. 

The team has also brewed a Chop House Pale Ale created to their own recipe at Drygate brewery in Glasgow. It sits alongside a large range of draught and packaged beer with a strong focus on Scottish producers. The extensive wine list is organised by country of origin and offers an exciting blend of old favourites and new trends.

The 40-cover restaurant's striking interior, featuring copper, brass, herringbone tiles and leather banquette seating, also houses the 'captain's table', a bespoke table handcrafted from local elm, providing secluded dining for 10.

Mark commented: "The businesses we run are a real extension of who we are and what we love. In our twenties it was all about late nights and boozing and the bars reflected that. As you get older it's much more about great food and wine. Chop House will provide that."
The Chop House will appeal to both Leithers and diners from across the city with a varied calendar of mid-week events, including £5 corkage on Mondays and Tuesdays, and regular wine tastings.

Leith Chop House
102 Constitution Street
Leith
Edinburgh EH6 6AW
Tel: 0131 6291919
www.leithchophouse.co.uk
Twitter: @leithchophouse
Facebook: Leith Chop House
 
OPENING TIMES
Monday-Friday: 12 noon - late
Saturday-Sunday: 10am - late
 
Kitchen processes
The dry-aging process breaks down enzymes in the beef making it first, more tender, and then, more flavoursome. Different cuts are aged for different periods and the kitchen team is currently experimenting with the process. More information about Leith Chop House's dry-ager can be found at http://www.dry-ager.co.uk
Leith Chop House's custom-made chargrill will use a variety of natural fuel, depending on the season and the dish. Although grilling over coals is not the fastest way to cook beef, Leith Chop House believes it to be the best method, imbuing the beef with a subtle, smoky flavour. 
Suppliers
Shaws Fine Meats is a traditional, artisanal, family-owned butchery business dating back to 1828. Based in Lauder they buy their meat from St Boswells Market and from local farmers they have worked with for generations. "We have always stuck true to our roots; procuring the best possible produce which we then skillfully butcher to offer our customers the best quality products."
Hardiesmill is a boutique farm specialising in pedigree Aberdeen Angus cattle. Run by Robin and Alison Tuke, self-professed 'beef geeks'. Alison's father was involved in saving the Aberdeen Angus breed in the 1970s and the pair have picked up the mantle, becoming heavily involved in breeding and farming Aberdeen Angus cattle at their farm in the Scottish Borders.
Highland Wagyu is a pedigree beef company, breeding 100% Fullblood Wagyu, Wagyu crosses, Aberdeen Angus, Beef Shorthorn, Highland and Dexter cattle with a mission to produce the best beef in the world from their 25,000-acre estate farm in Perthshire, Scotland.
Chef
Executive Chef Brian McConnachie (37) has been with The Compass Group for the last three years, heading up the kitchen team at Monteiths and helping the business develop its reputation for exciting, modern food.
He is hugely excited by the Chop House concept and has been instrumental in finding artisan suppliers and sourcing the best Scottish beef. Brian is passionate about provenance and his cooking philosophy is to take great ingredients and cook them in a simple, classic style, letting the flavours do the talking. His experience of butchery will serve him well at the Chop House.
The Bar Manager  
Michael Lynch (26) hails from a family who all work in the hospitality industry. Growing up around the trade, he caught the bug from an early age. Michael is passionate about food and drink and likes to focus on seasonal products in his cocktails, stripping back drinks to create simple classics.
Michael was a waiter at Monteiths before training as a cocktail bartender. He left the company to train as a manager with The Bon Vivant before going on to open Devil's Advocate. He has been fortunate to work with a host of great mixologists throughout his career, taking part in innovative events including a pop-up at Ruby, Copenhagen. Leith Chop House is delighted to welcome him back to The Compass Group family.
Building 
Leith Chop House is located on the site of a former cork house, where cork for whisky bottles was stored.
In years gone by it was part of The Spiral, with a spiral staircase connecting a bar (now Leith Chop House) to an upstairs dancehall. It was also once Homes Bar, a popular old-school Leith pub, and most recently it was operated as Leith Lynx.

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