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Ever since their appearance on The F Word, when Gordon Ramsay swore in delight over their dumplings, it seems that the team at Chop Chop can do no wrong. It’s been a busy six months since the show aired, but almost every night since the Morrison Street restaurant has been packed to the gills with appreciative foodies.
It’s no surprise, then, that husband and wife team Roy King and Jian Wang have decided to open a new restaurant, this time in Leith’s buzzy Commercial Quay. Next door neighbour, Michelin star Tom Kitchin, has already popped in for a bite, and is reportedly a convert.
My companion and I enter the new venue with barely contained excitement – we’re already huge Chopaholics, having spent many a happy birthday, payday – any day of the week, really – in the Morrison Street branch. After a warm greeting from Roy, we’re seated in the smart conservatory, admiring the red, sparkly tables, freshly imported from Jian’s homeland of China.
Speaking of the star chef, we’re delighted to hear she’ll be adding her signature magic touch to our dinner in the kitchen. Jian trains all her kitchen staff herself, meaning that all Chop Chop’s food maintains the same high standard, but there’s something special about knowing she’s bustling about backstage.
We choose the banquet for two, at £18.50 a head. Roy explains that it’s an unlimited feast, meaning that as soon as we finish one dish, we can order up a fresh batch. One of the nicest things about Chop Chop is the casual nature of the dining experience. Dishes arrive as and when they are ready, meaning we gobble down plates of lamb with cumin at the same time as crispy shredded potato salad, garlic aubergines making an interesting contrast to a plate of shredded cucumber and chinese leaves.
When our dumplings arrive – we decided to swap four fried prawn dumplings for eight beef and chilli – we mix up dishes of our own personal dipping sauce. Every diner gets a small bowl to create a delicious concoction of soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, fresh minced garlic and red chilli flakes. This is always my favourite part of the meal – I favour lots of vinegar and garlic, my companion goes wild with the chilli.
It’s a smart new setting, but instead of diluting their winning formula – good food, reasonable prices – Chop Chop have stuck to what they do best. The result? Another must-visit venue, and, undoubtedly, another success story.
248 Morrison St
0131 221 1155
Unlimited banquet for 2
£18.50 per person