Bloc is a steakhouse in the heart of Chelmsford, with three floors to dine in
and a Bloc Bar upstairs serving fresh cocktails. The décor is amazing; housed
in an 18th century former brewers building and oozing class and sophistication.
I met Zoe prior to the event, and we had a few
cocktails and a catch up upstairs in the Bloc Bar. We met the event organiser Danny, and the owners and brothers of Chop Bloc,
Steve and Dave Patten. We were in good hands; the Patten brothers have a wealth
of experience in the abattoir and food business, so they really know their
We sat down and enjoyed some
canapes – and boy, I’ve never tasted mini food so good before! There was a
selection of: pork belly in panko crumbs, mini beef burgers in mini brioche
buns, pulled pork croquets, salmon and caviar crackers, roasted new potato with
sour cream and caviar, and a selection of olives, Parma ham, breads and olive
oils. We were well and truly spoilt – and this was just an introduction to all
the food we were going to be treated with!
With a belly full of cocktails and
canapes, we headed downstairs to learn about beef, how to prep and trim it and
what cuts there on the cow and where they come from.
Head chef Antonio Alexander Lopez
Rocha, who has a background at Gaucho Grill and was trained by Bruno Loubet,
showed us the meat they get delivered on site, how to trim it all up and turn
it into what we get served on our plates! I must admit I felt a little
squeamish but it was interesting. We learnt the different cuts of beef and
where they come from on the cow; fillet is my favourite cut and I found out
that it’s soft and tender because it’s a muscle that sits there and never does
anything – errrrr that’s (maybe) me every weekend from now on!
Antonio also talked about the
drying and curing process that they do on site, and we sampled some duck marinated
in garlic, five spice with some secret ingredients popped in, and it was delicious!
I’ve only ever had shredded duck before but the aged duck breast was packed
with flavour and so soft.
Next up, we sampled some wines. I’m
by no means a wine connoisseur, in fact I’m more just your basic Malibu and
coke kinda gal, but I enjoyed trying the wines and learning about them. James Child led the talk, telling
us all about the origin of the wines, where they come from and how they’re
made. I liked all the red and white wines we tried, (v. technical language
there) and I loved the white one – it was beautifully sweet with no nasty after
We sampled a few dishes, including
a delish Gin and Tonic soaked salmon dish and a chorizo sausage dish. This was the one for me – smoked chorizo sausages, (freshly made on site) on sour bread with a slice of
pickle and pickled onions, with a generous amount of Dijon mustard. The
sausages were beautifully soft and melted in the mouth with just the right
amount of kick. The bread was crunchy and the pickle the right amount of tang.
I’ll order that in bulk next time please.
Then, it was the moment that we had
all been waiting for: dinner. No words left our mouths when all the food was
brought out onto the table, other than “OH MY GOD” and “MMMMMM” and a hell of a
lot of nodding and all the happy feels.
We were served fillet,
chateaubriand, T-Bone, Sirloin, mac n’ cheese, chunky chips, French fries, sautéed
greens, asparagus, green beans in garlic and stuffed mushrooms.
The steak was phenomenal; I’ve
never tasted anything like it in my life. The chateaubriand melted in the
mouth, and accompanied with a deliciously cheesy mac n’ cheese made for the
A few more wines were tried and
tested and we resumed in Bloc Bar for a couple of cocktails. I had the most delicious
skinny Pina Colada. A tall glass with Malibu, agave syrup, pineapple and
lemonade, poured over crushed ice with a slice of pineapple. It was the perfect
sweet treat to round off a beautiful meal!
So, to recap on this
mouth-wateringly good experience…
Chop Bloc dry-age all their meat on site, produce their own burgers and
sausages, and cut and tidy up all the fresh meat that comes in. All of the
steaks here are sourced from Hereford cattle. These cows graze freely on grass
in the UK. The Hereford is one the UK’s oldest beef breeds, originating in
Herefordshire in the mid-1700s.
All the food is so well thought
out, planned and researched at Chop Bloc. Even the mini brioche buns took
months to track down from a bakery in London!
Chop Bloc are hoping to expand the
chain from Chelmsford and are currently looking for a new location to put their
stamp on. Fingers crossed it’s one near you!
I was invited to Chop Bloc by the owners to sample their new menu and cocktails.
All opinions, text and photos my own!