Special event: Butcher’s Master Class at Chophouse Perth

Chophouse

Chophouse

Chophouse first opened in Sydney in 2008 as an Australian take on the New York Steakhouse, and recently launched its second venue in the heart of the Perth CBD. Its aim is to provide customers with the best possible meat from around Australia, and offers a refined dining experience in a comfortable atmosphere.

The Perth restaurant has an inside dining area as well as a large outdoor area that overlooks St George’s Terrace. It’s open weekdays for lunch & dinner and Saturdays for dinner only – visit the website here for more information.

Chophouse

I was recently invited to the inaugural “Butcher’s Master Class” at Chophouse Perth, a special event attended by a group of local bloggers and two MasterChef 2015 contestants, Jessica Arnott and Fiona Grindlay.

Chophouse

Our ringmaster for the evening was charismatic and flamboyant Head Chef Scott Alfonso, who kept us thoroughly entertained with his equally impressive knife skills and story-telling abilities.

Originally from New York, Alfonso moved to Perth in 2003 and his worked in several local restaurants including Harvest, Balthazar and Andaluz.

Chophouse

The meat featured in the class (and on the menu) was Dorper Lamb. The Dorper is a fast growing meat producing sheep, and was originally bred by crossing a Dorset Horn sheep from Britain with a Persian sheep form Iran in the 1930’s. The breed was introduced to Australia in 1996 and is now the country’s fastest growing sheep breed. Dorper lambs show good maturity at 4-6 months of age, ensuring tenderness and a superior flavour.

Joining us at the class was Dorper Lamb MD Graeme Howie, who spoke with great passion about his product, and even seemed interested to meet a group of food bloggers!

Read more about Dorper lamb (or even order some online) here.

Chophouse

The first part of the evening featured Scott breaking down the lamb into its various cuts, providing a comprehensive education along the way.

Chophouse

A large pile of lamb.

Chophouse

Also present was Chef de Cuisine of Chophouse Sydney, Eric Tan, who designed the Chophouse menu. He worked on the lamb – at extremely close quarters to me – with unwavering precision.

Chophouse

This may seem a little obvious, but this kind of event isn’t for the squeamish, and at least one of the guests found it all a bit confronting.

I’m not sure what they were expecting from a butcher’s class – the fact that the bench top was covered with cling film probably should have been a giveaway…

Chophouse

Chophouse

We were offered the opportunity to wield the knife ourselves, on the understanding that any deep cuts / lost fingers / trips to hospital would be our own responsibility. Only Jessica and Fiona were willing to tackle the lamb, and they both showed great skill and confidence handling the knife.

Chophouse

So on to the eating. The first course was spiced kibbeh on croute – lamb tartare with ras el hanout (a North African spice mix) and flaked almonds. Like many at the table I hadn’t eaten raw lamb before, and was pleased to find this to be soft, delicate and beautifully spiced. Not the kind of thing you’d want to eat by the bowl-ful, but a great start to the meal.

Chophouse

Second course was lamb neck empanadas with salsa verde. Perfect pastry, tasty filling, delicious sauce to dunk in. Try stopping at one.

Chophouse

The deliciousness kept coming with a smoked lamb shoulder croquette with a buttermilk & goats cheese dip. You can almost see the cheese trying to escape in the photo – these were incredibly soft and gooey inside, although very rich.

Chophouse

Onto the main course – a seared rack and pressed lamb belly. You’ll need to like your lamb pink to enjoy this one, and even I found the rack a little hard going.

Chophouse

Chophouse

The pressed lamb belly was spectacular, stuffed with herbs, anchovies & parmesan. Melt-in-the-mouth goodness, and one of the most popular items of the night.

Chophouse

Accompanying the main was an interesting lamb shank and bean salad with creme fraiche – yes, even the salad had meat in it!

Chophouse

The menu came to a close with a cheese platter, featuring some spectacular Camembert with truffle honey.

Dessert was provided in take-home form as a Chophouse version of a Crunchie bar, made with a combination of milk & dark chocolate – this actually managed to make it home in my case, although that wasn’t true for everyone!

Chophouse

Chophouse

This was one of the best “foodie” events I’ve attended, and as a “dining experience with a difference” I’d thoroughly recommend it to anyone who isn’t offended by piles of raw meat and the cracking of bone. Good food is one thing, but the interaction and entertainment value of this evening made it truly a night to remember.

Chophouse Perth will be offering these Master Classes from 16 November 2015 at a cost of $120 per person, for groups of 10-12. The first “term” of classes will include the five-course Dorper Lamb menu shown here with matching wines, and I should mention that there was more than enough of each on offer. There will also be quarterly sessions offered for smaller groups, but you’ll need to add your name to the wait list to find out about these.

Contact Chophouse Perth for all enquiries on 1300 246 748.

Chophouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

About the author

Martin

Martin was born in England but now lives in Perth, Western Australia. He has a passion for breakfast, coffee, hot curries & fast food, and is a cat & Dalek person.

2 Comments

  • I’ve seen the dorper lamb company’s product and unfortunately I don’t rate it as much as I’d like to. It used to be good but there are many other dorper producers that produce a better end product than Graeme & Co source.
    Gimlet Grove dorpers would be among the best that I have used. Oh and I am a butcher with my own business….

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