It’s interesting just how subtle yet powerful time is. As you’re reading these words, what are you investing? Vision? Cortical processing? Time probably wouldn’t be your first answer to that question, but it is nonetheless the backbone to which these other factors cling. It takes time for the light to hit your cone cells and disrupt the release of neurotransmitter. It takes time for your optic nerves to cross over in your brain. It takes time for neurotransmitters to diffuse across the synaptic cleft. We may not always realize this, but ultimately, time is ubiquitous; it is always there. Great expanses of time can pass by in what may feel like only a matter of days or weeks, but it certainly doesn’t stop for anyone, although it may not be the same for everyone. Therein stems the saying that time is money: once you spend it, you can’t necessarily get it back quite so easily, yet you will be left with whatever you just purchased, whether that be a vintage road bike with revamped handlebars or some kind of new skill. Continuing this analogy, like money, we can borrow time from our friends – you wash my car, I save that hour on the weekend to continue wasting away in front of a computer screen in peace. Now, they say time heals everything, but long term potentiation in my brain certainly isn’t included in that. For the life of me, I cannot remember why I owed TamTam a fair sum of money (or maybe it was time?), but I did borrow it from him and, of course, a return is always implied by that particular action. Instead of just passing him a few bills Whalley-style, I decided to treat him to dinner at Chop. After all, I’m paying him back with time AND money – a double bang for his original buck, if you ask me.
The restaurant is located in Richmond and certainly incorporates a very modern feel. Like many recently opened dining establishments these days, they claim to be purporting a “casual” feel, but it’s somewhat hard not to impress with the ambiance of this one. (Um, ignore the road signs – I just wanted to warn you all against the dangers of auto-thieves, who are at work… everywhere!)
It was a pleasant day, so we elected to sit on the tres fance patio. It became much more abuzz as the evening continued.
Even outdoors, the bar area was certainly looking sauve. Decor-wise, Chop has nailed it inside and out. Ha.
We were served complementary bread, an action that is perhaps a bit more of a rarity in Vancouver these days. It was lightly toasted, warm and generally flavourful even while plain. The butter was nice in that it could actually be spread with ease, although it was not absolutely necessary for the enjoyment of these particular carbohydrates. Maybe I’m just one of those strange people who enjoy the purer things in life, however.
Being the classy males that we are, we decided to order onion rings ($8) to start off with. While they were certainly large and crispy, they packed a more subtle flavour of onion that was better enjoyed following the application of one of the given sauces. This was a rather standard appetizer, if a little unimaginative.
I ordered a 12 oz New York Striploin ($33). Needless it say, it was quite the sizeable piece of meat. It came with vegetables and mashed potatoes. While the vegetables were your standard self-redemption for consuming the slab of animal flesh placed in front of them, the infused mashed potatoes were slightly gritty in texture and could have used a bit more depth to their flavouring.
I generally request for medium rare, and this was certainly what I received. The steak achieved an acceptable balance between the natural flavour of the meat and the added spices, and I was satisfied. In terms of texture, it gave a reasonable amount of chew while still making for efficient deglutition. For the most part, I enjoyed this entree.
TamTam ordered the Top Sirloin Oscar ($29), a 7 oz top sirloin adorned with jumbo prawns, roasted peppers, asparagus, and béarnaise sauce. A plain version of this may be ordered for $22.50, and that was what was initially placed in front of him by our server. Upon bringing light to the issue, the mistake was corrected rather quickly. It seems as if this considerable topping was meant to be quite the addition, but unfortunately, TamTam did not see it as such. While not wholly dissatisfied with this offering, he did not see it an extraordinarily prepared piece of meat.
Perhaps TamTam felt like this carrot. Can I make this a new meme? -_- carrot: not happy; not sad; just existing, and weaving through time like the rest of us sentient, heterotrophic beings.
In any case, for the most part, I enjoyed my time at Chop. The service was a friendly if a little distant, although our waitress was prompt enough with the steak switch-a-roo after the little mistake. As is the case with restaurant patios, the manager could be spotted jovially flitting amongst the other tables while almost wholly ignoring ours, but that’s okay; it would be unsightly and hazardous to my health if I were to respond with a mouth full of meat! Overall, Chop certainly hits the wallet but you will get what you pay for: a quality piece of meat. Perhaps the guiding light here is what you choose to do with it. Given the environment, however, can you really complain?
Conclusion: Andy ate a lot.
10251 St. Edwards Dr.