Rick & I headed out to try the new Chop Chop restaurant in Glasgow's city centre a few weeks ago. The restaurant is on Mitchell Street and thankfully isn't far to walk from Central Station as I had high heels on for a change! We were celebrating being together for two whole years (hasn't it flown!) and so I had dressed up especially in my sequin skirt, to be greeted by Rick who had come straight from work in his jeans and T-shirt as it was dress down Friday. Ever so slightly mismatched, we were greeted at the restaurant and shown to our table. I had hoped to be seated under the fantastic (fake) blossom trees, but we were offered a window seat instead. Next time I'll ask for the tables in the middle!
We ordered a range of dishes from the extensive menu rather than going for the unlimited banquet (£20.95 per person). I did note that children under 5 can eat from the unlimited banquet menu for free, so perhaps on our next visit we'll take the kids so they can try too.
The dishes come to the table as they are made, in random order. We had ordered a few 'small' plates - although they were far from small!!
"In China, diners order collectively and share all dishes."
As it was our first visit, the waitress made us up some dipping sauce for the dumplings we ordered of soy sauce and vinegar to which we added garlic and chilli to suit our taste. The service was spot-on; just enough attention to make us feel special. I've been at some Chinese restaurants before when the waiting staff walked by your table every 2 seconds which was just too much!
The fried pork & Chinese leaves dumplings (£4.85) were delightful, dipped in my mix of soy, vinegar and garlic - using my chopstsicks I might add! After our dumplings the remainder of our dishes arrived. The food was amazing, and there was so much of it! We thoroughly enjoyed each and every dish.
I had aubergines with garlic (£5.65), chicken with peanuts (£5.55) and beef with red peppers (£5.95). Each dish was flavoursome (I had steered clear from the spicy ones) and there was a variety of textures which made for an interesting meal... the soft cooked aubergine, the melt in the mouth beef (my favourite) and the crunchy peanuts through the chicken.
I of course had to try the desserts too. I had the ice cream dumpling (oh my word!! I could have easily eaten more than one, it was soooo good) and a small plate of sugar string apples that you dip in iced water before eating to crystallise the sugar coating. It was bizarre biting through the crisp sugar to be met with a warm cooked apple, but they were really tasty.
"Chop Chop" is a phrase that reminds me of my mum... my sister and I would hear her exclaiming these two words as she tried to get us to hurry up and get a move on. It's thought that the English word "chopstick" originates from this phrase, basically meaning "quickly". When I'm using chopsticks though I'm far from quick!
You might think from the name that the restaurant is a fast food diner. The restaurant is very brightly lit and the paper placemats and plastic plates perhaps might make you think chain/fast food restaurant, however the tables and chairs are stylish and the blossom trees, to me, are beautiful and unique. So it's a bit of a mixed bag in terms of the interior decor. There were a couple of larger groups at the restaurant during our visit, and it's definitely the place that would be well suited to groups of friends rather than couples looking for an intimate meal.
The food, however, is far from what you would expect in terms of fast food quality. Every dish was freshly prepared and they all were fantastic. There's no artificial colourings or preservatives used, and I didn't have a food hangover!
We'll definitely be back.
We received a complimentary meal in exchange for an honest review. As always, opinions are my own.