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The Chop House at The Arches, Market Street
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The Chop House
The Chop House,
15 Waverley Arches,
Tel: 0131 629 1551
Mon-Fri 12 noon-10.30pm, Sat/Sun brunch 10am-3pm (10-12 bookings free Bloody Mary)

Coolly carving out quality

To shoehorn a new branch, complete with in-house dry-aging meat fridge into this arch seemed a tall order - especially as this operation prides itself on quality cocktails as well as top-notch steak-handling.  But this new city centre branch has nailed both niches for the area.

It is spectacularly accomplished.  Cash splashed on the small space has been done with style, with the obligatory steel frame employed as a spacious arch-within-an-arch, cleverly showing off original stone walls without compromise, whilst every bar and seating need (inc locally-sourced customised leather banquettes & booths) has been neatly accommodated.

Outside tables can seat around 20 but to enjoy fully, go inside and stop first at the cocktail bar, before taking a booth or heading up to the mezzanine level with its spectacular view of old & new Edinburgh architecture, and a tantalising laser-cut panel through to the smoky goings-on in the kitchen.

We opted for 2 roast scallops - not cheap at £4 each but sublimely served in their shells with a white port & garlic dressing to emphasise their sweetness - plenty alongside a dish of perfect, crispy, tasty, paprika-dusted tender squid with fried green chili mayo.  Then a main sharing plate of chateaubriand & half lobster. This came with plenty of Béarnaise sauce & dripping chips plus our choice of gem lettuce with blue cheese, and mac & cheese (properly cheesy, rather than bland & stringy) sides.

The lobster was soft, sweet & bathed in delicious garlic butter.  The plentiful slices of aged chateaubriand steak, medium rare as requested, were exquisitely tender and flavourful, complemented by their plate-mates.

Discussing the many issues of the day, we never did get round to desserts (though I believe burnt-marmalade mascarpone on gooey choc brownie needs close attention another time!) - but instead tried the well-judged recommendation of a Jalisco tequila cocktail involving liqueur cherries (at £7.50, a must-have!).

This arch (farthest down from Waverley station), offers additional incentives to visit, such as Monday tables with 2 rib eye steaks/sides for £35, & Tue/Wed £5 corkage on your own wines (or, handily, from the excellent Vino next door).  There's a special roast each Sunday, and complimentary wine tasting first week of each month.  A pleasure to welcome a reliably excellent independent specialist to this new central development. (The Go-Between)


Reviews of other steak restaurants here 

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