When you think of Chinese food, you tend to picture the meals you phone in or the modern (often buffet) restaurants with their bachelor pad decor, fountains and statues. Chop Chop is neither. The bright yellow exterior and dated interior gave me a slight cause for concern, although I don’t judge books by their covers. Often traditional restaurants are there to serve locals from that culture and don’t prescribe to western dining decor, so you need to give them a try because the food is often in a different league. An example is the Taj Mahal whose food I love, but physically the restaurant doesn’t look great!
Chop Chop looks a bit dated but it is in every sense of the word, traditional. I was very pleasantly surprised by the food! We ordered the unlimited banquet which allows you to reorder anything that you’ve tried and enjoyed – an amazing offer. If you’d rather just explore they have loads and loads of options across the menu.
The crispy strips of tempura squid were absolutely gorgeous and so moreish. I could compulsively munch through my own body weights worth of them! They were well seasoned and served with fresh chilli and spring onion.
They’re pretty much what it says on the tin!
I had to check the Chop Chop website to find out what this was as it wasn’t part of the banquet. It looked like either aubergine or slugs (!) but it was absolutely amazing. Aesthetically it offers you very little, but they taste amazing. The aubergine strips were cooked in a soy, garlic, ginger and spring onion sauce and it just tasted so fresh and beautiful. Again, I could have compulsively eaten a ton of them!
Mmmmmm I love chicken wings! I can be fussy with them though – if they’re too fatty or stringy it totally puts me off. These were great – just meat and bones! They were coated in a delicious seasoning which gave that typical Chinese taste – probably something along the lines of 5 spice. The chicken was gorgeously soft and the skin was nice and crisp. I do prefer my chicken wings über messy and saucy, but if they’re going to be classy and sauceless then this is the way to go!
Pork & Coriander Dumplings
These were my favourite out of all the dishes! The dumplings were filled with a moist pork and fresh coriander filling and had been fried to give a tougher dumpling. The warm, savoury flavour was just incredible – by far the best dumplings I’ve tasted.
These dumplings were filled with a diced prawn filling and steam cooked so they were beautifully silky and almost sticky. The sweet prawn and soft dumpling were a perfect combination.
Crispy Northern Beef
This was the only dish I didn’t like, but it was specifically the beef. The sauce was beautiful and rich, but the crispy beef was dry, tasteless and had an almost stale taste to me. I ate a few pieces but I just wasn’t a fan. The sauce was filled with strips of carrot and spring onion and was really tasty so I just focussed on that and let my friend eat the crispy beef!
For dessert, we were actually quite full. When I saw that peanut butter dumplings existed I decided to just use my pudding stomach. We ordered them and also the mixed fruit (rhubarb and berries) dumplings with some ice cream.
You haven’t lived until you’ve tried these. I’m biased when I say the peanut butter ones were my favourite, but the fruity ones were absolutely stunning too.
In Chop Chop you can expect very quick and attentive service, friendly staff who understand the menu and are happy to explain (and re-explain) how it all works. They’re even on hand to teach chopstick operation! I’m a total loser with chopsticks – I know how to work them but I’m just rubbish. The child/idiot friendly ones in Wagamama are what I need, otherwise my food will go cold whilst I fight with the sticks! I’m a quitter and opted for a fork, to the tutting of my waiter!
I’d definitely recommend Chop Chop for a casual meal or if you want to try authentic Chinese cuisine rather than the greasy westernised versions we’ve adopted. It’s just round the corner from Haymarket station and the trams also make it easily accessible!
248 Morrison Street
(0131) 221 1155