After a long break, we are back with London restaurant reviews. This month, we are featuring Marco Pierre White’s restaurant in East London, the English Chophouse. The restaurant plays on the heritage of English ‘chophouses’ from the 1960s and the menu focuses on steaks, grills and chops. The setting is the modern and stylish dining room of New Road boutique hotel. Scroll down for a full review by Adrienne Fung.
The other weekend, I had the chance to visit Mr. White’s English Chophouse for a late lunch out in Whitechapel, East London. The restaurant is tucked inside the New Road Hotel, a swanky boutique hotel converted from an old textile factory. A blend of old and new, the hotel’s décor exudes modern industrial vibes: exposed brick, high ceilings, and metal pipes running along the wall, surrounded by funky, contemporary furniture.
Mr. White’s English Chophouse fits the scene, putting a new spin on the traditional English chophouse. While the menu still captures the essence of what makes a classic chophouse great, you’ll also find a few unexpected elements. There’s no shortage of hearty cuts of meat that you can order grilled to your liking, but this chophouse might finally be one that will appease your vegetarian and pescatarian friends too.
Notably, there is an entire vegetarian section on the menu categorised under “Wild Mushroom” including dishes like the Lasagne of Wild Mushrooms served with green salad with truffle dressing. Wild mushroom appears to be a theme running throughout the menu, so before bringing any of your vegetarian friends, it might be wise to double-check they don’t have an aversion or severe allergy to mushrooms first.
In terms of seafood offerings, there are plenty of starters and mains that fit the bill such as the Fish Pie and Lobster Macaroni, an all-time crowd pleaser. Since my friend and I were planning to try their steaks for our mains, we went for a few lighter seafood hors d’oeuvres to start.
We tried Mr. White’s Fresh Crab served with sauce mayonnaise and toast Melba, as well as Crispy Devilled Whitebait served with tartare sauce and fresh lemon. The whitebait, coated in a smoky, savoury spice blend, had lovely flavour and texture, a great dish to snack on while waiting for our main. The crab was also nice, although it could have used a bit more seasoning.
We washed down our starters with a few delicious cocktails from the bar. I ordered a Negroni while my friend had a Bloody Mary. My Negroni was the perfect drink for a hot Saturday afternoon: refreshing, bitter and just the right amount of boozy. My friend also enjoyed his Bloody Mary, which was pleasantly spicy.
The mains at Mr. White’s English Chophouse consist of a variety of individual and to-share cuts of steak, four different beef burgers, and other hearty dishes (if beef isn’t your thing).
We decided to try the Grilled 35 Day Aged T-Bone to share (32oz), cooked medium-rare. All meat dishes are served with roasted vine tomatoes and triple cooked crisps. We also had a choice of two sauces and we opted for Béarnaise with fresh tarragon and grilled wild mushrooms in garlic butter. We ordered a side of French Beans with toasted almonds.
First and foremost, the steak was seasoned well with just the right amount of salt. When you have a good cut of meat, there’s no need to overdo the seasoning. The steak, for the most part, was properly cooked to medium-rare, although it was a little dry in parts.
Both sauces that we ordered were delicious. The wild mushroom wasn’t so much a sauce as it was a side dish, which our waitress fully warned us of beforehand. Either way, I’d happily order it again. The French beans were also successful, not overcooked and still maintaining a fresh crunch.
All in all, we really enjoyed our meal at Mr. White’s English Chophouse. Not only was the food and drink delicious, but the contemporary ambiance offered a welcomed departure from the stuffy, old-school atmosphere we’ve grown familiar with.
While you’ll certainly still be able to enjoy your classic chops, Mr. White’s refined, stylish approach will give you a few new things to indulge in.
Disclaimer: Adrienne was a guest of the restaurant. All opinions are her own.