Often there’s no quicker route to total satisfaction than a sudden surge of spontaneity, and meat!

Friday night saw this sudden spontaneous spurt kick into action and a visit to the newly opened Helen Browning’s Chop House on Wood Street.

The only problem, add to this last minute restaurant choice to the fact it had been open only a few days and the only answer you are going to come up with is, ‘sorry we are full.’

Not to worry, that heart-breaking sentence was quickly followed by, ‘we can get you a table in about an hour?’

Wanting to try Swindon’s newest eatery the hour wait was agreed, the only problem here, and it was down to the size of the venue, was we couldn’t hang around supping the range of craft beers, not to worry though, a quick visit to Baila for a pint of Pistonhead would pass our waiting time.

Back up at the Chophouse, a relaxed eatery offering a dining concept within a Spanish pub style setting, mainly thanks to some of the old Bistro artwork on the walls. Owner Helen Browning is committed to using the finest produce from local farms to create dishes that are fresh and in season, but as the name suggests, the speciality here is quality meats, which are sourced from her Eastbrook Farm in Bishopstone.

An interesting menu, all very reasonably priced, included Starters of BBQ Ribs or Mussels in White Wine and Garlic at £7 each, or a choice of sharing boards, Carnivore at £7 per person or the Veggie option at £5 per person. We skipped this and wanted to get straight down to the main event, Steak!

With main options including, Hot Dog £10, Burgers from £12, Pulled Pork £14 and Mac n Cheese £10, there really is something here for everyone.

On this occasion, as indicated above, I opted for the Rump Heart Medallions, Organic Rocket, Tomato and Double Dipped Fries £18. A perfect combination, well almost.

The steak was tender and tasted great, the flavours in the meat were just, well, you are going to have to try it for yourself. I could tell you it was amazing, delicious, superb, out of this world, all of the above, but, none of them will do it justice.

We actually talked about whether this was the best steak available in Swindon? and are now torn between two options, I think it is definitely the best rump you can get in the SN postcode area.

The rocket and the tomato, and I do not normally eat fried tomato, complemented the meal perfectly. Then we come to the fries….

Some of the double dipped fries had unfortunately been double dipped a little too long, if we had continued to eat them an emergency trip to the dentist would have been in order I think, a shame though as the ones that were clearly not overdone tasted great. Fries though will not deter from my feelings on the steak It fulfilled all requirements.

After the main, there was no way a dessert was going to be devoured today, the options did look pretty decent though, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Chocolate Brownie, Cheesecake and Ice Cream, all at £7 each.

I will try and eat one of these next time, just to let you know how it tastes, there will definitely be a next time.

Drinks wise there is a selection of cask lager and beer, organic wine, and soft drinks ranging in prices that will leave you with change compared to other Old Town venues.

If you are looking for a decent restaurant, that serves only local produce, has friendly, attentive staff and a relaxed vibe. Helen Browning’s Chop House is well worth a visit and offers excellent value for great food.


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