I typically avoid Chinese takeaways, or even restaurants in general, as they hardly seem to satisfy the taste of home. There’s this one time my parents came from Hong Kong to visit me in London. About a week later, let’s just say my dad began to crave for some home food. We were just walking around the neighbourhood when he spotted this Chinese restaurant/takeaway called Chop Chop Noodle Bar right by Shepherds Bush station. Just like me, he typically refuses to be ordering Chinese food in western countries but his cravings won.
So we went in there, surprised to find the place kind of resembling a classic Cha Chaan Teng (i.e. a traditional Hong Kong-style canteen). Not only does the setting and décor reminded us of home, the way they displayed their menu and ordering sheets also highly resembled home. The menu features a fairly wide variety of Chinese and South-East Asian dishes, including curries, soup noodles, chow meins, fried rice and stir-fries. The menu is presented as a plastic-covered poster and each menu item got a number next to it where you then simply tick the dish number you would like to order on the ordering sheet. All of this is very common practice across east Asia.
Since it’s just around the neighbourhood, I’ve then stopped by a couple of times if I wanted a quick Chinese food fix and couldn’t be bothered to cook. The portions at Chop Chop Noodle Bar is huge, especially for a rather cheap price too. Unless you’re having a mammoth of an appetite, I would say the portion is definitely enough to split for two meals. Not once I ever left without a stuffed belly or a takeout bag to pack up leftovers.
Here are some of the dishes I’ve had:
An all-time favourite dish ought to be their Laksa and it is no surprise that it’s one of their most popular dishes on the menu. Their laksas were very aromatic and fragrant. Spicy and topped with a generous amount of seafood and vegetables, it really hits straight to your soul. For a non-Malaysian takeaway restaurant, I must say I was actually surprised and somewhat impressed. In addition, for the price you’re paying, it’s massive in portion and totally worth the money.
Stir Fry Beef in Black Bean Sauce
As for the Stir Fry Beef in Black Bean Sauce, it was comparatively a let-down after the laksa. The stir fry had a more of a stereotypical western Chinese takeout flavour. I tried out a different dish, the Beef Curry, as well just to be sure and unfortunately it’s kind of a similar result. All stir-fry rice dishes were served with a large portion of egg fried rice. At least the good thing is there is no way you won’t get filled up.
Singaporean Fried Rice
Another all-time favourite from me is the Fried Rice dishes. I personally prefer their Singaporean Fried Rice over the Malaysian one. Again, that spicy paste really made the flavours pop. A watch-out key for good fried rice is to ensure that the rice doesn’t come out damp and to be able to taste the ‘wok hei’. The rice is certainly never too damp. Generally, there is this specific flavour generated from a hot wok, i.e. the taste of ‘wok’, which is something we really appreciate. In terms of toppings, it might be slightly disproportionate only because there is an extremely generous portion of rice in it. It was delicious regardless.
Singaporean Fried Noodles
The Singaporean Fried Noodles at Chop Chop were quite on point in terms of both flavours and texture. I enjoyed the robust flavours and tingle of spice for the dish. It’s got a decent ‘wok hei’ and got no soggy bits hiding around. Though I would criticise that, similarly to the fried rice, there seemed to be a lot more noodles than meat/vegetables.
Char Kway Teo
As for the Char Kway Teo (technically Malaysian fried noodles), it was very flavourful the first time I tried it. However, the other time I had it, it was rather bland so I can’t really comment whether this is a star dish or not.
Roast Duck Noodle Soup
If you fancy something lighter, there are a lot of soup noodles options available. My favourite would be the roast duck noodle soup. You can choose either rice noodles or egg noodles and I’d recommend going for the egg noodles.
The noodle soup was surprisingly nice and hearty. It was topped off with massive chunks of roast duck which is an absolute delight. The meat was generally quite tender. The only thing missing though is a classic sweet plum sauce to pair with the roast duck.
Salt & Pepper Wings
For small dishes, the Salt & Pepper Wings were reasonably decent. The wings were crispy on the outside and fragrant to taste. They featured quite a distinct garlicky flavours which I enjoyed.
As for their Satays, they may not be the most authentic ones but they were passable for a small Chinese takeaway restaurant. The satay sauce felt a bit too greasy and creamy, with a sweeter edge to what I’m normally used to.
…whilst not perfect, I would classify Chop Chop Noodle Bar as a little local gem in the area. At the end of the day, they offer cheap prices, massive portions, and a feel of home. Dishes are a bit of a hit and miss. My best advice is to stay away from the stir-fry rice dishes and stick with the likes of laksa, roast duck noodle soup, and the fried rice.
Halal (pork available on the menu but can request to swap it out with chicken)
Tel: 020 8746 2222