Harley Young stops at Chop Chop for a spot of Korean and Japanese cooking
With an hour to spare before hitting up the launch party for Liverpool’s new hottest entertainment venue Gravity Max, my colleague and I were in need of some scran.
A three-minute walk away from the Liverpool One shopping district on Fenwick Street, opposite The Slaughter House pub, sits Chop Chop; an eat-in and takeaway joint serving up authentic (as they say, don't all restaurants?) Korean and Japanese cooking.
Mega chicken calls for mega sauce, does it not?
Beyond the inviting maroon façade there’s not an awful lot to this restaurant looks-wise. There’s a small selection of seats and tables outside and some bench seating inside the venue opposite the till.
The menu is of a decent size, consisting of items like chicken katsu curry and prawn Deopbap, and is taped to the counter with allergen sheets clearly labelled next to them. Then there’s a fridge with every flavour of aloe drink you could imagine. Plus the classics too, of course (Coke, Pepsi, Tango…the list goes on). As for things to look at, that’s about it.
It’s incredibly understated but, as we all know by now, sometimes the best places are.
I ordered the bento box which came with rice, fried kimchi, three pieces of vegetable gyoza and ‘mega chicken’ topped with curry or mega sauce. Of course, mega chicken calls for mega sauce, does it not? The box arrived promptly and was more rice than anything else, but the small amount of chicken and kimchi made up for their diddy portion sizes in huge amounts of flavour.
I was quite gutted when the kimchi and mega chicken had run out after two or three mouthfuls and I was left shovelling plain rice into my cakehole. Good rice, but nothing in comparison to the sweet and spicy chicken pieces I’d lovingly wrapped in my kimchi and sent cascading down my gullet like a special delivery parcel.
We also ordered a portion of vegetable gyoza to share; partly out of pure gluttony and partly because I’m an idiot who didn’t read the contents of the bento box fully. The side of gyoza came in a portion of six pieces - pretty handy for divvying up when there’s more than one of you. There’s no awkwardly slicing the fifth and final piece to share like you have to at most restaurants. They didn’t come in the half moon shape with a scalloped edge like your typical gyozas would but rather like a spring roll. Regardless, they were perfectly crispy and crammed full of minced tofu, scallions, glass noodles and finely chopped vegetables. Dipped in soy, they were the ideal dish for the job.
My colleague chose the tofu Deopbap; lightly fried tofu with Deopbap sauce, mayo, fried kimchi and veg sprinkled over rice. A colourful dish that looked pretty healthy despite being slathered in sauce and the tofu having been fried until golden brown. Despite being a hearty portion size and plenty to eat for a lunch, if not a substantial dinner, the flavours sort of merged together and the dish had to rely on texture to keep things exciting.
Chop Chop is a conveniently located, affordable spot to pop in for a spot of munching. The team are friendly and able to fire out food quickly, keeping up with demand from both walk-ins and takeaways. It’s probably not somewhere to take a first date, but a good place for people watching and staving off those lunchtime hunger pangs with some decent nosh.
Chop Chop, 44 Fenwick St, Liverpool L2 7NB
All scored reviews are unannounced, impartial, paid for by Confidentials and completely independent of any commercial relationship. They are a first-person account of one visit by one, knowledgeable restaurant reviewer and don't represent the company as a whole.
Venues are rated against the best examples of their type: 1-5: saw your leg off and eat it, 6-9: Netflix and chill, 10-11: if you’re passing, 12-13: good, 14-15: very good, 16-17: excellent, 18-19: pure class, 20: cooked by God him/herself.
6.5/10 - tofu Deopbap 6.5, bento box 6, vegetable gyoza 6.5