27 June 2014

Chop Chop - An Authentic Chinese Restaurant in Edinburgh


I don't eat Chinese food very often unless I make it myself.  I don't like dishes swimming in sauce. Don't get me wrong I do occasionally give in to a takeaway of Sweet and Sour Tofu with Vegetables, but only about twice a year.

I know that food isn't like this in China, I know the food there is really fresh and exciting and I know that generally the restaurants here cater for the British market. I really wish they wouldn't!. That may have been a good introduction to the fearful British palate 50 years ago, but really it's time to move on. Our palates have.

Me and Stuart (Cakeyboi). Photo: Blethering Boys
I was delighted to be invited along to Chop Chop in Edinburgh's Haymarket along with my good friends Genna from Blethering Boys and Stuart aka Cakeyboi. It's an authentic Chinese restaurant and quite an experience if you haven't been to one before.

Once we eventually found some parking, we ventured inside a yellow shop front into a very unassuming dining hall. We were instantly greeted warmly and made to feel super welcome by the manager Yin Wang who settled us at a table, got us drinks and told us a bit about the restaurant.

The restaurant is authentic to the style found in Changchun in Northern Eastern China where the head chef and owner Jian Wang comes from.  We were told new customers are encouraged to order the buffet so they can try different dishes.


In the traditional style the dishes are brought out as they are ready one by one and the diners share the dishes. It's a communal dining experience.

Boy were we impressed! The dishes didn't look overly exciting until you tasted them. We spent the whole meal moaning and groaning in pleasure. Each new dish was so fresh and popping with flavour.
I particularly liked the crispy shredded potato, the cucumber salad, which was shredded cucumber and Chinese leaves with glass noodles in a tangy dressing, the green beans in a chilli and garlic sauce and the dumplings. The dumplings were amazing. Actually they've won awards for them.

Yin Wang taught us how to make our own dipping sauce for the dumplings at the table, then the trick was just to master the chopsticks.

For dessert we tried a bit of everything. Lush creamy ice creams and sorbets that tasted fresh and homemade, mixed fruit dumplings that were like hot little apple pies, sugar string apples in caramel, which we dipped in iced water to crisp up and my favourite, the peanut butter dumplings, oh my!

Those peanut butter dumplings were amazing. The peanut butter was hot, oozy and slightly salty and they were topped with icing sugar for a sweet finish. I shall remember those for a long time.

It was a great evening and a memorable meal. We all plan to go back again and introduce all our family to this hidden little gem. 

If you visit Edinburgh, get off the train at Haymarket, turn right and at the corner look up to the right, see that little yellow restaurant? Yes, that's the one. Now don't be shy, go on, go in and sit down. You won't regret it.

Now why not have a read of Genna and Stuart's reviews:



24 comments:

  1. wow, that looks like my kind of Chinese restaurant. I don't like those where everything tastes the same.

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    1. This food was just so fresh with dressings instead of sauces. Just gorgeous!

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  2. Do you know if they use MSG? I can't eat it & haven't eaten in a chinese restaurant for 30 years!

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    1. They use very little in the restaurant and can omit it on request. Just drop them an email or phone before you go.

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  3. Really rather wish I lived closer to Edinburgh so I could try this place for myself. Really love discovering properly authentic Chinese restaurants. Those peanut butter dumplings sound so good!

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    1. Oh they are! I think I shall dream about them tonight!

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  4. Looks like a magical place: here in Brum we have Cafe Soya (I reviewed it on the blog a couple of months ago) for incredibly varied veggie and vegan Chinese and Vietnamese food, but the desserts at Chop Chop look to die for! Should I visit Edinburgh, I know where I'm heading first... ;)

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    1. Yes you really should. You should both come up for a visit, you would like Scotland. You could combine it with a visit to few yoga studios.

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    2. Sounds ideal- I've always wanted to visit Scotland. Maybe this Summer we'll finally make it...

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    3. That sounds like a great plan :)

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  5. It was a lovely lovely evening. Thanks for linking to me too Jac x

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    1. It was a good night Stuart and great food too.

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  6. That looks like a Chinese well worth going to Jac. Mind you I think I shall be dreaming of peanut butter dumplings tonight too. It's fun eating out with other bloggers and you all understand about taking photographs ;-)

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    1. Oh those were amazing Choclette. I must try to make a version of them. And yes, no one was impatient to eat while we took photos :)

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  7. Elder teen is hoping to start Uni in Edinburgh this September so I might be trying this one out!

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    1. Oh yes then you must. You are both going to love Edinburgh. Fingers crossed for her Sally :)

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  8. Looks fab, love a buffet when you can try everything. I also love the Grass arket, such a cool area of Edinburgh

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    1. Yes I love the Grassmarket too, bit for from this restaurant, but a great place to go. Stuart kindly went veggie for the night for me and Genna, which was kind.

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  9. I love Chinese food and this sounds like it really knows how to cater for vegetarians.Nice review,

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    1. They really do, which is so refreshing. I'll definitely be going back again. I can't wait for Graham to try it too.

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  10. As Edinburghers we love Chop Chop, and are members of their 'club' - which means we get some great discounts on birthdays, anniversaries and things like mother's day. So much on the menu and everything we have tried over the years has been fabulous. With this review they'll be busier than they already are!

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    1. They are great and I'm glad you have just reminded me about the club. I must go join.

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  11. I like chinese food a lot, my tip is to take a chinese person with you - in london at least you often get a completely different menu that way!

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    1. This one is authentic Chinese from the region the family come from Fiona. It's nothing like the normal Chinese fayre. Much fresher and lighter.

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I love reading comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Unfortunately, I'm bombarded with spam, so I've turned on comment moderation. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can and respond to them. Don't panic, they will disappear when you hit publish. Jac x