st john’s chop house, cambridge

For my birthday a couple of weeks ago, The Man whisked me off to Cambridge for a night away.  I just haven’t got around to blogging about it yet, LOL

We were booked into a lovely hotel and got a cab down to the restaurant.

St John’s Chop House is part of a small chain of restaurants around Cambridgeshire, although each seems unique.

The restaurant is gorgeous – all blocky wooden tables, big fireplace and a gentle elegance – but, the only way I can describe it is ‘quite manly’.  This really is a ‘boy’ restaurant – if you don’t like big hearty, meaty dishes then I would advise you to go elsewhere.

I don’t have a flash on my phone camera, and the restaurant was lit by candlelight, so I apologise for the photos.

Chicken & Walnut Terrine, Port, Orange & Onion Marmalade

The Man’s starter was very nice, with a good consistency but we felt it was rather under-seasoned.  The marmalade was absolutely stunning though.

Scallops with buttered leeks and bacon

My starter was absolutely delicious.  This was on the daily specials blackboard, and probably the lightest dish on the menu, and considering what I moved on to – I am SO glad this was my choice.  The scallops were fat and juicy and perfectly cooked (and seasoned), the leeks were buttery, and the bacon salty.  The ‘crumbs’ on the side seemed to be some kind of flavoured salt (I couldn’t quite place it), but I don’t think the dish needed it really…I ended up leaving most of it.

Sirloin Steak, Bashed Carrot & Swede, Chips & Sauce off the Board

The Man went for the peppercorn sauce – and he loved every single medium rare bite of it all!  The chips were more like big fat potato wedges – everything was hearty and full of flavour.  We’d ordered some red cabbage too (as we both have a weakness for it!) and that was extremely yummy!

Braised Beef Cheek, Colcannon, Parsnips & Gravy

Oh my God!  I had never seen such a HUGE hunk of meat on my plate.  It was beautifully tender – just falling to pieces under my fork.  The gravy was absolutely delish – and I adore parsnips.  There was just SO much of it.  I couldn’t finish it – and I HAD to leave room for dessert as it was the first nice meal that The Man had taken me out for in years.

I didn’t take photos of dessert – I went for the chocolate mint mousse, which wa deeply chocolatey, but could have done with being a bit lighter considering the haviness of the main.  The Man went for cheeses.

I highly recommend St John’s Chop House – as I say, it’s elegant, gorgeous surroundings, lovely atmosphere, brilliant but relaxed service, great wine list and fantastically cooked food.  however, make sure you skip lunch – and preferably only have a light breakfast!

The people on the next table had the slow roast shoulder of lamb sharing dish, and it looked absolutely fantastic – definitely one to try.  If we go again, we’d consider the Beef Wellington to share (one of The Man’s favourites).  That’s if he isn’t tempted away by the ‘Suet Pudding of the Day’!  (See what I mean abotu it being very much a boy’s restaurant?)

I am so glad that I made the decision to walk the 20 minutes across the top of Jesus Green to get back to the hotel – I think our bodies were grateful for the post-scoff exercise!


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