I've heard all sorts of great things about Chop Chop. They've been voted Britain's most popular Chinese restaurant, have received multiple AA Rosette Awards for the quality of their food, were on Gordon Ramsay's F Word, and their factory sells millions of dumplings each year. My friends rave about them, and I have lived within easy visiting distance for YEARS.
I've been meaning to go for ages, but am hopeless, so hooray for Chop Chop for inviting me along to try out their Leith restaurant.
Chop Chop specialises in authentic Chinese cuisine, making all of their dishes from fresh ingredients with no artificial colourings or preservatives. Food is served as soon as it's ready, encouraging diners to order together and share their dishes, so you can mix the textures and flavours of all food on offer.
You can either pick and choose off the menu, or order one of their unlimited banquets (which look incredible, oh my god), where food just keeps coming until you are defeated.
It's BYOB too (I wish I'd known this before we visited!), with a £5 corkage charge (per bottle...).
Both of us tend to make dumplings quite a lot (you can buy them in your local chinese supermarket, and they are the best lazy dinner/comfort food!) so wouldn't normally order them in a restaurant, but it felt rude not to try them as they are such a famous Chop Chop dish!
The food was all beautiful - I would make a special trip just for the spicy beef alone (it melted in your mouth, and was just, oh, hello). The vegetable dishes were all great too, it's easy to get lost in a world of noodles and meat, but these were so much more than side dishes.
The restaurant was fairly informal and had a nice, relaxed vibe, but unfortunately the staff were slightly too relaxed... and left us sitting for about thirty minutes after finishing our meal. We had been so pleased with the food that we were dreaming of dessert (and more wine), but by the time we managed to get someone's attention, we were both too full and ready to go.
Still, the food was marvelous (and as soon as they realised we were there to review it, a very nice man came out and gave us lots of chat).
Chop Chop have two restaurants in Edinburgh (Leith and Haymarket) and are opening a Glasgow branch in October 2014. They also have a delivery service and run a membership scheme that gives you a discount on each visit, and sends you celebration vouchers across the year. Yum. Thanks for having us Chop Chop, we'll be back!