Chop Chop: New Asian Restaurant in Giza
Two new restaurants have opened on Ibn
Kathyr Street in Giza; Chop Chop and Asha’s share quarters on the ground floor
of the Suez Canal Tower. Upon strolling through the joint entrance, a kind
hostess will brandish both menus to help you make your choice, before leading
you to a table on one of the two floors. Chop Chop’s interior is pretty
unremarkable, but we appreciate a bit of subtlety.
We couldn’t help but order the dim sum
platter (110LE) from the large menu to start our meal. The option offers two
portions of four different steamed dumplings with beef or shrimp fillings. The
soft and puffy shu mai was our favourite. In the middle of the traditional
lidded wooden bowl was a sweet steamed bun that was filled with shredded duck.
The sweet and the savoury made for an interesting, if fleeting, taste.
Moving onto the mains, we ordered the nasi
goring – the national dish of Indonesia, and the cheapest main course at 67LE.
The dish consists of a large neat serving of brown stir-fried rice topped with
a fried egg, and flanked by two chicken satay skewers, two fried chicken wings
and two large prawn crackers. The dish as a whole is presented very well and
with complete symmetry, but for the funny looking egg on top. It was cooked
perfectly, runny in the centre and complimented the rice well. The rice itself was
cooked and seasoned well, as was the chicken satay, although we had to get down
and dirty to prise away the chicken off of the skewer. The chicken wings were
cooked perfectly, were surprisingly easy to eat and debone, but needed a little
salt and pepper.
The seafood oyster promised much, and for
130LE we expected a feast. Although we were presented with a modest serving of
prawns, calamari and fish, prepared with asparagus, ginger and spring onion, we
were far from dissapointed. As with a lot of the dishes, the seafood oyster
doesn’t come with any rice or noodles which you can get at around 30LE and 60LE
respectively in a range of options. Because of this, it’s a rather sparse dish
that may not fill up an empty stomach alone. Overall though, each sea-creature
element of the dish was delicious, and we were relieved that the calamari
didn’t have the consistency of plastic watch strap.
dessert, we opted for the chocolate fondue (30LE). A deep bowl of dark
chocolate came with four fondue sticks and a small bowl of fruit including
mango, kiwi, melon and banana. When it arrived, the chocolate was a little cold
and thick, so we bided our time and let candled hot-plate do its work. Once it
had melted into the perfect texture, we dug into fresh fruit, but would have
liked more banana slices and fewer kiwi segments.
The Chop Chop menu is so broad that no
matter what you might think of your first visit, you’ll almost certainly go
back and try something else; their curries, their sushi or their dim sum.
Prices are higher than most, but the meticulousness of the whole place is
tangible, and when you step back and consider the sum of the parts, Chop Chop
more than justifies its prices with well-prepared creative food and a welcoming
and comfortable atmosphere.