- Telephone 0131 221 1155
- Food served Mon–Fri noon–2pm, 5.30–10pm; Sat noon–2pm, 5–10pm; Sun 12.30–2.30pm, 5–10pm.
- Average price 19.75 (set lunch); £16 (evening meal)
- Website www.chop-chop.co.uk
This review is taken from the current (2014) edition.
Fast food Chinese-style, Chop Chop’s canteen-like interior lends an authenticity to the experience that transforms diners to perhaps the campus of Peking University. With simple wooden tables and bright-yellow walls, the Haymarket branch is jam-packed on a Friday or Saturday night with groups. If you’re looking for a more intimate meal, the modern Leith branch is decorated with simple natural colours brightened up with Chinese lanterns. Both restaurants offer identical menus designed for sharing. This feels like the Chinese version of tapas, and gives diners a chance to try lots of little dishes. The speciality is dumplings, jiao zi (boiled) or guo tie (fried). The prawn guo tie are packed full of tasty prawns while the vegetable jiao zi provide a simpler taste worth dunking in your soya sauce. Meat and fish eaters have plenty of alternative choices including stodgy fried fish balls, fresh spicy squid with garlic, and light sliced beef strips. The menu doesn’t offer a huge variety of flavours – there’s a lot of teriyaki sauce and garlic – so make sure to prioritise some of the vegetable dishes, most notably the excellent stir-fried green beans and chilli. Unusually, it’s definitely worth trying dessert – the peanut or mixed-fruit dumplings are delicious with vanilla ice-cream.
By now, there can’t be many in Edinburgh unfamiliar with the Chop Chop approach, which eschews typical anglicised Chinese fare for authentic cuisine from the north-east of the country, served up in a variety of portion sizes. For the uninitiated though, that means delicious filled dumplings, either boiled (Jiao Zi) or fried (Guo Tie), a number of unusual but alluring vegetarian selections (like shredded potato salad with garlic, coriander and sesame oil) plus lashings of flavoured noodles. The takeaway service – which includes generous meal-deals and discounts for members – follows the same winning formula as the restaurants. You can order online or by phone and collect from either Haymarket or Leith branches; a delivery service from the latter has stuttered recently so check with the restaurants for confirmation that it's available.
- High point: Chinese-style tapas is great to share on a night out with friends
- Low point: Simple, repetitive flavours limit the actual choice on offer
- Notable dish: Prawn guo tie
- Provides: Children's high chairs, Free wi-fi
- Music on stereo: Chinese modern
- Capacity: 80
- Largest group: 80
- Open since: 2006
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 6
- House wine: £13.50 per bottle
- BYOB: £5 corkage (Corkage £15 for 4 bottles and £3 per bottle for 5 or more)
Reviews & features
Chop Chop dumplings set for supermarket sales25 Feb 2008
Edinburgh restaurateur Roy King, who runs Chop Chop, has announced that the dumplings for which they are famous are now being produced for sale in Sainsbury's. He insisted on maintaining his policy of 'fresh ingredients only and no pre-cooking…
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