The Quality Chop House has retained the cramped wooden banquettes of the original Victorian premises, but mercifully added cushions. There is also more conventional seating in the wine bar area next door. The wine list, which changes regularly, is a major draw here, with some of the better wines at quite attractive prices by the rapacious standards of London. Vega Sicilia Alion 1998 is very hard to find now, but £94 is far from an excessive price (less than twice retail, could you actually find it).
Pork and pistachio terrine (£7.50) topped with pickled walnuts had quite coarse texture, but the pickled walnuts were an interesting balance to the richness of the pork (13/20). Truffled potato croquette (£2.50) came with anchovy mayonnaise. These were pleasant enough, the batter crisp, though the filling did not have much in the way of truffle flavour (12/20). Bread was from the Little Bread Pedlar in SE16 and was excellent (14/20).
Smoked salmon (from Hansen & Lydersen in north London at £9.50) came with horseradish, capers, onions and lemon, and a slice of brown bread. It is tricky to score bought-in smoked salmon, but it was of good quality, and the horseradish accompaniment went well. I had Middlewhite pork loin (£22) with kale, with the belly and crackling served on the side on a bed of braised lentils and pesto. The pork was carefully cooked and the kale went nicely with the other elements of the dish (13/20). On the side, Jersey Royals were excellent (14/20).
Grilled rhubarb (£6.50) came with meringue, honey and ginger ice cream on a bed of crumbs. The ice cream had good texture, the meringue was fine, but the rhubarb was distinctly under-cooked and tricky to eat, something acknowledged by the kitchen when I mentioned it (barely 11/20).
Service from our Australian waitress was friendly and efficient. The bill came to £85 a head, but that was with a serious bottle of wine (the Alion 1998). A typical bill with a more modest wine would be around £65 a head.
Further reviews: 30th Nov 2012