Chop Chop on Morrison Street in Edinburgh is unassuming and unpretentious, quietly cooking up a storm in the kitchen and dishing up dish after dish of authentic food full of flavour. I struggle to find a decent Chinese restaurant in Scotland with all the takeaways and buffet restaurants popping up on every corner. I endeavour to try though and this is one that’s been on my list for a while.
Owner and head chef Jian Wang arrived in Edinburgh from Changchun in North Eastern China, a region famous for its dumplings (jiao zi). Her passion for cooking these dumplings seem to be the key to this restaurants success. First selling them in 50 Chinese supermarkets and getting the contract to supply P&O ferries to then open up her first restaurant in 2006 Jian Wang’s dumplings have gained quite the reputation. I remember the first time I heard about the dumplings was while watching Gordon Ramsay’s F Word where Chop Chop won best restaurant in Scotland and second in the whole of the UK. In the programme Gordon visited the Morrison Street restaurant and tried the dumplings for himself claiming they were “f****** delicious. They have since won a coveted Scottish Excellence award ( the first ethnic food to do so), opened another store in Leith, and now one in Glasgow, and have won AA rosettes every year.
I adore St Andrews, it’s a town I have visited loads of times over the years. My family have lived and worked around the city centre and we have spent time every summer there on the beaches. My Aunt Ella, who I named my blog after, owned a flower shop on South Street for many years before it became a Cheese shop (who happen to do fab cheeses).
I’ve enjoyed spending time these past few weeks exploring more of St Andrews while I’m following The Open preparations. With the town ready to be bombarded with golf fans from around the world here is my top ten things to do in St Andrews when your not watching the golf.
Explore the history of St Andrews
St Andrews Cathedral sits at the end of South Street and is the remains of what was Scotland’s largest and most magnificent Church. St Rule’s Tower offers stunning views if your willing to climb the 156 steps, up a tight metal spiral staircase. A tip here is to listen out for anyone heading down before you commence, a meeting on your trip up can be awkward at best! The views from the top though are outstanding. The whole of St Andrews is laid out before you, including the golf course and harbour. You can also see a lot more including, on a clear day, all the way to Arbroath! The gravestones themselves are fascinating, with the most important now undercover in the museum, including the famous golfer, Mr Tom Morris.
Now in it’s fifth year Crail Food Festival has found it’s feet. Every year it gets bigger and better and this year was no disappointment. With a packed menu of top chefs, talented producers and opportunities galore to sample the best Fife and beyond has to offer, the weekend was a glorious success. All this squeezed into one of the prettiest fishing villages you are likely to come across made it even more special.
Organisers planned it down to a tee with venues spread neatly throughout the village and ample, well organised parking nearby. Free shuttle buses were provided with maps and schedules available so you didn’t miss a thing.
We started off on Saturday morning in the Food and Drink Emporium in the community hall which was filled with the likes of Ardross Farm shop (with delicious HUGE meringues), The Little Herb Farm, Balgove Larder, Cochrane’s Kitchen and Chillilicious. What a treat it was to see so many of Fife’s top producers in the same place at the same time. Suffice to say I left with my bags already full.