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Chops - Opinions Needed!


RogerC1
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I have eaten there 3 times. The first 2 times it was amazing. Seriously worthy of mention with fine big city steak houses. Steaks, sides, service, all outstanding.

The last time on a recent cruise it was merely good. A few of us steaks were not the quality I'd expected and/or not cooked as well. The service was good not extraordinary.

FWIW, Izumi was exact same. Out of this world first 2 times, ok last visit.

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20 minutes ago, brdjnr said:

I have eaten there 3 times. The first 2 times it was amazing. Seriously worthy of mention with fine big city steak houses. Steaks, sides, service, all outstanding.

The last time on a recent cruise it was merely good. A few of us steaks were not the quality I'd expected and/or not cooked as well. The service was good not extraordinary.

FWIW, Izumi was exact same. Out of this world first 2 times, ok last visit.

Are you referring to Izumi (regular experience) or the Izumi Hibachi? Just curious. I booked regular Izumi and rarely see reviews for it!

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Chops has long been one of our favorite cruise meals on any cruise line. Especially if you have the opportunity to eat outside in Central Park on an Oasis ship. All the sides are great, the steak (filet) one of the best I’ve had anywhere. Service is always great. Only experience post pandemic was February on Indy and really enjoyed it. 

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We ate everything on the Chops menu.  It was our second favorite specialty restaurant.  Here are some of my thoughts:

1. Ribeye is fantastic.  The Bernaise, wine reduction jus, and peppercorn sauces that are available and offered on request are high quality. (I was a classically trained chef and these lived up to my standards)

2. Filet is great if you like filet mignon.  I personally despise it but my kids and spouse loved it.

3. Lamb Chops are very, very good.  My 9 year old would not give me a single bite, so I ordered it separately and the waiter didn't even charge us for the additional entree.

4. Sides - truffle fries, mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, asparagus, gruyere tater tots, mushrooms were all good.  Nothing is too aggressively seasoned but all were noteworthy.

5. The burger was BEAST and very good.  Not as good as the Amber and Oak or Jamie Oliver's burger, but very good.

6. Fried goat cheese salad is a must.

7. MUSHROOM soup and Lobster Bisque are outstanding.

8. Caesar salad....why?  Get the Fried Goat Cheese or Wedge instead.  

9. Carpaccio is yummy and quite different from the one served in the MDR in terms of width of the beef slices, sauce, and accoutrements. 

10. Tuna tartare...meh. 

11. Shrimp cocktail - standard but yummy nonetheless.  The cocktail sauce is not much more than ketchup and a little tabasco.  Ask for horseradish.

12, The Bacon - very tasty and unique.  The glaze was interesting and I liked it enough to order again.

13. Desserts were all good but I do not recall them being much different from desserts you could get elsewhere.  Izumi, Jamie's Italian and Wonderland were the only places we are aware of with distinct desserts. 

14. Dessert drinks...get all of them. The Truffle and Bavarian Coffee were our favorites. 

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If I were to narrow down to one meal, here is what I would get:

Wild Mushroom Soup

Fried Goat Cheese Salad

Ribeye rare (or medium rare if the piece is thin - I always instruct the waiter)

Béarnaise sauce

Creamed Spinach (this was fresh spinach and NOT canned)

Mashed Potatoes or Truffle Fries (they use truffle oil and not real truffles)

Red Velvet Cake

The Truffle Coffee

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24 minutes ago, CruisingNewb said:

If I were to narrow down to one meal, here is what I would get:

Wild Mushroom Soup

Fried Goat Cheese Salad

Ribeye rare (or medium rare if the piece is thin - I always instruct the waiter)

Béarnaise sauce

Creamed Spinach (this was fresh spinach and NOT canned)

Mashed Potatoes or Truffle Fries (they use truffle oil and not real truffles)

Red Velvet Cake

The Truffle Coffee

Thank you for all of this! Excellent info.

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Okay so I have had Chops on 4 different ships and will say that the experience has varied amongst all of them. I personally only recommend Chops because steak seems to be rather universal, and everyone can find something on the menu. However, I would hit any other restaurant before Chops because I find you can get a just-as-good or better steak at most dining venues across the ship. The sides will vary in taste and quality, which makes the "they have better sides" a moot point. I loved the spinach on Chops on Harmony, but it was bland on Mariner. The same for the mashed potatoes and gruyere tots. Mariner's Chops had the best mac and cheese of any ship, RCG sucks when it comes to mac and cheese, so this was an amazing surprise.

Izumi is a good restaurant; I wouldn't say great because I don't like sushi. They do have really good bowls and noodles plus a few amazing apps, but it will boil down to what you enjoy the most. The Hibachi experience is why there are so many more reviews for that. 

Overall, the takeaway is that different folks will have different views as whether something is worth it. If you want something, get it and enjoy it.

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2 hours ago, RogerC1 said:

Are you referring to Izumi (regular experience) or the Izumi Hibachi? Just curious. I booked regular Izumi and rarely see reviews for it!

At the risk of sounding ignorant, we had the version where you all sit around the square cooking area and the chef cooks in front of you.

First two times were on Mariner. The first visit was the best hibachi experience I have ever had. The chef was great. Next trip on Mariner (6 months later), my wife saw the chef on the Promenade and said 'thats our guy!'.  I asked him if we could get him again for that visit and he arranged it.  Another great experience.

This most recent one was a little odd. There were 8 of us in our group. The rainbow roll was the best I have ever eaten. Next next level. The hibachi was just ok. The chef started out having a good time and cutting up. Then after maybe 45 minutes (not sure at all), he acted like a golfer the Marshall has told to pick it up. He stopped talking and kinda rushed through the rest of the meal. And the food (meat in particular) just didn't taste as good as previous visits.

Listen, my dining experiences as a whole on RC have been wonderful. The last visits to chops and Izumi may have been the victim of absurdly high expectations based on the 2 previous experiences.  I want to stress again, it wasn't 'bad', it just wasn't mind-blowing.

We are going on Harmony in August, and we will be eating at chops and Izumi.

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I think a lot of the complaints this past winter and early spring were outside of Royal Caribbeans control. My husband and I were on Symphony on a 7 night cruise this past October 2021 and Chops was amazing.  The steaks, the sides the bacon the deserts were all amazing in fact we had unlimited dinning package and we ate at Chops twice during that cruise.  However on our 12 night Anthem cruise this past January 2022 Chops was terrible and they didn't even have all of the items listed on the menu and the items they did have were not high quality that we expect from Chops, but I think most of it was due to supply chain issues and disruptions where Royal simply couldn't get the quality of product they normally would for Chops.  Every other restaurant we ate at on Anthem during that cruise the food was amazing. 

We going on a free 3 night cruise July 1-4 on Freedom thanks to Casino Royal and we already are looking forward to going back to Chops, and we also have a B2B cruise on Harmony this coming December and we will be booking the ultimate dinning package on that cruise with Chops at the top of our list. 

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Adding to the poll - we like it, but not always the best.

We have done Chops on Wonder, Harmony, Ovation and Navigator.  They are not equal and probably Ovation ranked the highest of theses in a head to head comparison.  We feel that it may be the best specialty on some ships but it may not take the top spot on all.  On Harmony the Hibachi had a slight edge and on Wonder 150 was much better.  

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Only been to Chops on Anthem (twice) and we really enjoyed ourselves both times. One was a full capacity pre covid cruise, the other reduced was a reduced capacity post covid cruise. I always have the filet and the wife always has some kind of fish (she is not mad about red meat). Never a complaint in fact we indulged in a bottle of Moet last time and REALLY enjoyed ourselves.

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Hooked, on the Wonder, has the best steak (and you get included lobster). We have eaten at Chops over a dozen times - very good overall. I tried to deviate from the filet one time and was severely disappointed and sent the bone in ribeye  back for a filet. Mason Jar is also better than Chops. RCL needs to banish Wonderland and bring in  Hooked / Mason Jar as replacements.

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8 minutes ago, Swar said:

Hooked, on the Wonder, has the best steak (and you get included lobster). We have eaten at Chops over a dozen times - very good overall. I tried to deviate from the filet one time and was severely disappointed and sent the bone in ribeye  back for a filet. Mason Jar is also better than Chops. RCL needs to banish Wonderland and bring in  Hooked / Mason Jar as replacements.

As long as they keep Wonderland though October so my Sister can try it for her birthday that will be fine by me, LoL

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8 minutes ago, Spang1974 said:

As long as they keep Wonderland though October so my Sister can try it for her birthday that will be fine by me, LoL

We did Wonderland once. As an entertainment venue, it was amusing. As a place to eat food - not so good. Pouring the hot caramel sauce on the dessert globe was neat though.

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On 6/23/2022 at 12:46 PM, CruisingNewb said:

If I were to narrow down to one meal, here is what I would get:

Wild Mushroom Soup

Fried Goat Cheese Salad

Ribeye rare (or medium rare if the piece is thin - I always instruct the waiter)

Béarnaise sauce

Creamed Spinach (this was fresh spinach and NOT canned)

Mashed Potatoes or Truffle Fries (they use truffle oil and not real truffles)

Red Velvet Cake

The Truffle Coffee

This is exactly what I need! If you could go through and tell me each restaurant to eat at and what I should order I would greatly appreciate it! Lol. Seriously though it was great to get your take on it and my desire for my first cruise next week is only increasing!

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8 hours ago, Swar said:

RCL needs to banish Wonderland and bring in  Hooked / Mason Jar as replacements.

Chops as a steakhouse will work since that style is classic.  Wonderland is ok, just a different dining experience.  Mason Jar was a nice change but execution as a little below my expectations.  Maybe it is because I travel a lot for work, mainly in the southeast, and I have experienced some fantastic southern cooking and bar-be-que but I would rank that below 150, Chops, Hooked and maybe even Izumi.  Nice new concept, good options too just lacking some good southern flavor.  Needs some “BAM!”

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