Chop Chop is the real deal, serving food Chinese style - that is, once each dish is cooked it is ready to be served, therefore the food comes out in no particular order so if you order a soup expect it to come at any point during the meal! The food is also designed to be shared so think of it as being a bit like Chinese tapas.
The restaurant's founder is from north eastern China who started out in business making Chinese dumplings. Mr Foodie, having visited both Beijing and Tianjin a couple of times each and stuffed his face with dumplings in both cities was eager to find out if this was as authentic as they say (and we both love Chinese dumplings anyway).
So we ordered an array of food ranging from Cucumber Salad to Chicken Wings to their famous home made jiao zi dumplings (of course!).
The cucumber and garlic salad was crispy with garlic throughout, loved it - we'd never thought about combining cucumber and garlic before, and it certainly gives a fairly bland vegetable some added flavour. (£3.20).
Chicken wings with salt and pepper (£4.80) crisp coating, and melt in the mouth chicken. lamb in cumin (£5.70). Yum!
Mixed seafood (small) - delicious mix of seafood. The squid wasn't rubbery at all and the spices (star anise etc) were plentiful and added some strong pungent(in a good way!) flavours. Miss Foodie isn't a star anise fan, but the taste was subtle, at least on top, Mr Foodie finished off the stuff at the bottom of the plate which was drenched in star anise goodness!
Prawn dumplings (£4.75), lamb and leek (£4.85) and pork and prawn dumplings (£4.85) - we love dumplings, and these were excellent. I've bought them in other places and they have been watery, doughy, rubbery or tasteless. Not these, they were full of flavour from the ingredients. Top class.
Lamb soup (£3.00) - lamb really isn't popular in north east China (certainly not from Mr Foodie's experience) so we were intrigued by this one and it was meaty broth filled with spring onion (which we love).
Mr Foodie washed down his dinner with a Beijing gold 5% - described on the bottle as "lightly hoppy" though it didn't actually taste hoppy at all but was a bit wheaty and even slightly like a Belgian lambic though it still looked like a clear lager, confused? Actually as far as Chinese beers go it was OK, it's brewed by Yanjing who brew a popular (in the Beijing area) beer called simply "Yanjing Beer", which Mr Foodie has had on his travels. The designated foodie driver just had soft drinks.
Overall, a smashing night, quick service, great food and good atmosphere. They also have a loyalty scheme which we both signed up to.
Chop Chop currently has 2 Edinburgh restaurants, 1 in Haymarket and 2nd in Leith. We visited the Leith restaurant but plan to visit the Haymarket one soon as we have heard that it is even better! We also urged them to open one in Glasgow! Watch this space...