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.
An early dinner here this week meant we had the undivided attention of the lovely waiting staff who helped us to make our chilli oil dip that we would be using during the meal. A dash of dark soy, freshly grated ginger, a pinch of chilli oil and a little malt vinegar mixed together produced a spicy flavoursome sauce with went perfect with the large bowl of prawn crackers brought over to start us off while our meal was cooking.
Since it was our first visit it was suggested to us that should go for the Unlimited Banquet to sample as much of the menu as possible. Who was I to argue? The meal was in traditional Chinese style – small sharing dishes brought out when they are ready to ensure perfect temperature and taste. We never had to wait long though, even as the restaurant filled up.
Our first dish was a light cucumber salad, finely chopped cucumber and a little carrot with a spicy mustard dressing, and this was swiftly followed by a dish of aubergines with garlic with spring onions, I had no idea aubergines could be so juicy and tasty.
Spicy fried potatoes with the bold flavours of chillies and spring onions and a bowl of fluffy sticky boiled rice was next, followed by seasoned chicken wings and a scrumptious dish of crispy Northern beef.
By now our table, and our bellies, were almost fit to burst but the best was yet to come. The famous dumplings were next and boy were they worth the wait. These have to be tried to be believed, because as you can see, the photos don’t do them much justice. Pork and coriander boiled dumplings and pan fried chicken dumplings were gone in second and swiftly re ordered, beef and chill dumplings were next then some fried veg ones. These dumplings, along with the dip we made earlier, was hands down the best Chinese food I have ever tasted. I don’t say that lightly, they really are that good. My favourite was definitely the pork and coriander boiled dumplings but they were all fantastic. Imagine my delight when I spotted the back of the menu and a big list of the places in Edinburgh where you can buy these little beauties.
This restaurant doesn’t shout about it’s awards and accolades, it’s quiet and modest and lets the food do the talking. A true little gem, Jian Wang’s love and passion for her craft is obvious and shines through in every dish.
I was invited along to Chop Chop but my opinions are, as always, all my own. I can highly recommend this restaurant. Their website can be found at www.chop-chop.co.uk and the restaurant can be found at
248 Morrison Street, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH3 8DT
Go try those dumplings!