27th April 2016
Helen Browning’s Chop House
I haven’t yet had a chance to visit the new chop house on Wood Street in Old Town so what we have here dear listeners is a guest review from my friend Gill Thomas – otherwise known as Contemporary Botanicals.
Before we get to that here’s a snippet from the restaurant’s website: http://helenbrowningschophouse.co.uk
‘Good, fast, simple, casual food from great ingredients. Brunch, lunch and supper, Wednesday to Sunday from March 30 in Swindon’s Wood St; serving our own organic beef, pork & lamb.
We like to feed children. We don’t care what clothes or boots you are wearing. We’ll even take dogs. Our default response is ‘yes’. We very much look forward to welcoming you in. ‘
So far so good – so what does Gill have to say about the place? Read on!
“We arrived a few minutes before 7pm and it was already pretty full but thankfully – I’d say crucially – we had a reservation because people were piling in all the time, at one point forming a queue!
The decor and discreet lighting provide a subtle, warm ambiance which was matched by the warm welcome from the staff. The seating is a mix of dining tables and high cocktail tables – we had the latter which was turned around to give better access.
Nothing was too much trouble. The menu is small, offering a limited choice of meat, fish and veggie options which is more than enough choice, most accompanied by skinny chips and salad. There is no pretension here, just simply good food. We both went for the salads of the day which were large, fresh, full of textures and flavours that just filled the mouth. The meat meals that we saw were handsome steaks and nicely presented steak sandwiches held together with a “dagger”. The wine list is similarly brief but, again, we found it more than adequate and chose the house red, a very nice Merlot.
It was really busy and the manager and one waitress really had their work cut out in providing good service which they did with efficiency and good humour. To use an old phrase “the joint was really jumping” – diners were clearly happy and we were so impressed that we ended up making a reservation for next month.”
All of which sounds really fabulous and leaves me with only one question: is this small but delicious menu served on plates? I’m utterly bored with boards and browned off with baskets and saddened by slates. I simply want my food on a piece of plain, white china. It’s not much to ask surely?
Find the chophouse on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/helenbrowningsorganic/
Contact the chophouse: