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REVIEW: Chop Chop Chinese

If there's a type of cuisine I rarely eat, it's Chinese. It's just never been something I've been drawn to. I remember when I was quite young it was a cuisine I would actively avoid and struggled to find something to eat on a menu, even before my veggie days. But I'm always open to trying new things and re-visiting former dislikes so when the vegan meet-up group I'm a member of picked Chop Chop on Mitchell Street in Glasgow as the next venue I decided to give it a bash (and not stay in on Friday night). 

The organiser of the group was already familiar with Chop Chop and its menu. It has a wide range of vegetarian food and the staff have always been happy to answer her questions regarding veganism. Our server was already aware that we were a vegan meet-up group and was more than happy to tell us what was already vegan and what could be adjusted. 

As I've said, Chinese food hasn't been something I've ever gravitated towards so my experience of Chinese restaurants is limited. Though I have been in establishments before which follow the same formula: they number the dishes on their menu and you order by number, and the food itself is on the 'fast' side. Definitely more junk food vegan that night than raw superfood vegan! 

For my main I had Noodles in Peanut and Mustard Sauce. I regularly make myself a satay sauce based on peanut butter and I imagined this would be up the same street. However, it was slightly more unusual. The sauce comes in a small separate bowl and is cool because heating it up would cause the oils to curdle. You then mix it in yourself with the wheat noodles and the cucumber/coriander mix you're also given. As a side I had pan fried vegetable dumplings. My general dislike of Chinese food aside, I actually love vegetable dumplings but these didn't quite stand up for me as they had only been fried on one side! So imagine a dumpling with one side crispy and one side soggy and you get that idea. 

Whilst all vegans known it's not too hard to find a vegan mains (or at least one which can be easily adapted) dessert menus are usually the worst. For dessert we had three (!!) vegan options. There was sorbet, peanut dumplings and sugar string apple. I went for the peanut dumplings, which I loved. I've not got a sweet tooth but I love anything carby or starchy, so desserts of the savoury variety always get my vote. The sugar string apple was also ordered at the table and was apple pieces in caramelised sugar - but eat quickly as it becomes a bit too solid to eat after the sugar sets.

The atmosphere in Chop Chop is also worth mentioning. It's hustle and bustle and is somewhere lively to go if you're in the market for that. There are also fake blossom trees with fairy lights to look at above, as well as oriental music on the speakers. 

Based on my limited knowledge of Chinese restaurants, Chop Chop is of a similar standard that you'd expect for lower-end Chinese places with numbers on the menu. It's not where you'd take someone you were wanting to impress, but it falls into the cheap and cheerful cateory and there's nothing wrong with that. 

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