All of a sudden, Edinburgh’s Bruntsfield is the place to be.
Tom Kitchin is soon to open there, and it appears that the curly-haired impressario is being followed by Uncle Tom Cobley and all his foodie mates.
However, Michael Spink and Mark Fraser have beaten them all to it with the third – and biggest – incarnation of Chop House following on from successful launches in Leith and in the Market Street arches behind Waverley Station.
The decor at this 40-seater temple to the not-so-humble steak follows the usual Chop House recipe: pared back with industrial flourishes, burnished metal, orange banquettes and stools, an impressive bar and a faint but unmistakable hipster ambience.
Upstairs at this restaurant built on the site of the unlamented Tribeca, the tables have views over Bruntsfield Links, while downstairs will be cosy and perfect in mid-winter.
There’s also an eight-seater ‘Captain’s Table’ on the basement level.
If Spink and Fraser have kept to the Chop House script when it comes to the decor, they’ve also done the same with the food, which is a sensible course of action given how successful they’ve been elsewhere.
I’ve previously found that the quality is remarkably consistent across the group, and their third restaurant certainly maintains that record.
Our two starters of scallop and pig cheek with apple and celeriac coleslaw, then crab cake with chipotle hollandaise, were excellent, but then so too were both main courses.
The 350g rib eye with dripping chips was beautifully marbled and aged, while the roast sirloin (it was Sunday lunchtime) was sumptuously pink, and served with bone marrow gravy, mediocre roast spuds, seriously good honey roast root veg, buttered greens and a Yorkshire pudding the size of a brick.
What’s not to like – apart from maybe the price, which remains unapologetically aspirational. But like all of the best things in life, it was worth it.
88 Bruntsfield Place, Bruntsfield, Edinburgh, EH10 4HG.
0131 629 6565