December Issue 2015
Food Review: Chop Chop Wok
Chop Chop Wok opened shop only a few months ago, yet the tiny eatery has quickly risen through the ranks to become the hottest noodle and rice bar in Karachi. Offering essentially Asian cuisine, one can find noodles, rice, soups and even fried ice cream on their menu.
Even though Karachi is brimming with countless eateries, from high-end restaurants to small roadside dhabas, Chop Chop Wok has made its mark. It’s located in the down-to-earth Khadda Market, away from the coveted E-Street with Xander’s and Mews. The dÃ©cor is minimal and simplistic, with rustic wooden tables and benches, which make for a casual place to eat a good meal.
The restaurant offers a make-your-own three-step wok menu to create the dish of your choice. First: you choose your base; rice or noodles — the range includes egg noodles, rice noodles, brown rice and more. Second: you choose your flavour — from spicy Pan Asian to the delicious Vietnamese, as well as zesty Japanese, among others. Third and last: add your meat — chicken, beef, prawns or fish, as well as optional extras from diced tofu to mushrooms. It also offers a variety of starters and soups, including their must-have tom yum soup, and two types of desserts, of which the most favoured is their fried ice cream.
Start the meal with Chop Chop Wok’s chicken tom yum soup. Even in the heat of summer, you will not regret making this decision. The soup has the perfect amount of spice in it, enough to wake up your taste buds. While the soup doesn’t beat that of other high-end restaurants in Karachi, it is still worth trying.
The Vietnamese egg noodles with chicken, tofu and mushrooms was my choice from their menu, which was absolutely delicious. Served in a simple blue-grey noodle bowl, the aroma of the food was enticing enough to make one dive right into the meal. The noodles were perfectly cooked, neither soggy, nor too dry or oily. The flavour is a perfect blend of spices with additional zest from the black pepper sauce added to the meal.
The best part of the meal was definitely the dessert: the fried ice cream topped with melted chocolate and crushed almonds. It’s reminiscent of the fried ice cream at The Noodle House, but smaller in size and with a chocolate topping. It is absolutely delectable!
Each dish is served within 15-20 minutes, and unlike gourmet restaurants, not served in a fancy manner — which is appealing in its own way. It’s a clean, simple presentation.
A problem with the restaurant, apart from its small size, is that you cannot make reservations — seating is assigned on a first come, first served basis, and parking in Khadda Market, as every Karachiite knows, is a challenge in itself. Customers waiting inside the already miniscule eatery, add to its chitter chatter, and even somewhat to the pressure to finish your meal fast enough to make room for others.
The eatery is a definite must-try, but make sure you get there early enough to avoid the rush and enjoy your meal.
This review was originally published in Newsline’s December 2015 issue.
Raisa Vayani is an Editorial Assistant at Newsline