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.