4 October 2023

First Looks: Chop Chop unveils its new look menu

| Lucy Ridge
Neon sign "save water drink beer" and large decorative fan behind a bar

Chop Chop may encourage patrons to drink beer, but it’s hard to go past the cocktail list. Photo: Arjun Sudhilal.

Chop Chop is the rebranded restaurant taking over from Edo Tori in the Melbourne building. The team has kept all the fun and flair of their previous incarnation while ensuring there’s plenty of new stuff to love.

The interior of Chop Chop is full of bold colours and neon energy. There are pop-art reimaginings of Japanese woodblock prints and a larger-than-life cartoon mural. A neon sign advises guests to “save water, drink beer”, but we’re here for something a little stronger.

Small pink cocktail topped with a dried rosebud.

The yuzu, gin and hibiscus sakura cocktail is pretty in pink. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

The cocktail menu is an extended riff on the flavours of yuzu and lychee: Yuzu Rose Spritz, Lychee Mojito, Yuzu Bellini, Lychee Rose Martini, ‘Do you Yuzu?’, Wild Yuzu Sour, Lychee Vodka Punch, Spicy Yuzu Margarita …

You(zu) could say yuzu and lychee are the specialty ingredients of the Chop Chop bar staff and they certainly know how to make a killer cocktail out of them!

We especially enjoy the dangerously smooth gin and yuzu Sakura. After being informed that the coffee machine in the corner of the bar was installed for pretty much one reason, we also had to try the salted caramel espresso martini.

Quirky Japanese inspired artworks on a restaurant wall.

The Japanese-inspired art is fun and quirky, much like the menu at Chop Chop. Photo: Arjun Sudhilal.

For the grand opening of the revamped space, we’re treated to a canape version of the new menu. Pacific Oysters served with an orange mignonette are refreshing and delicious. And we simply can’t get enough of the nori tacos: perfectly seasoned kingfish and avocado served on a crisp battered piece of nori seaweed.

We also gobble up the different types of nigiri and sashimi, which make the rounds with sides of spicy pickled ginger and fresh wasabi. A favourite is the aburi salmon nigiri, which features slightly seared slices of salmon topped with pearls of roe.

For those who prefer their seafood fully cooked, I definitely recommend the prawn tempura. The crisp batter coats beautiful king prawns, and I found myself wishing I could double dip into the delicious wasabi mayo. If you’re not a seafood person, you can always order a primo wagyu steak or the chicken katsu sando.

Server holding a plate of kingfish nigiri

The sashimi, sushi and nigiri at Chop Chop are delicious. Photo: Kazuri Photography.

A surprise favourite was the vegan-friendly sesame soba noodles, which pack a wasabi-fuelled punch tempered by fresh cucumber and creamy sesame paste dressing. Moreish, fresh and totally delicious: I’d eat it any day of the week.

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Those looking to taste lots of different dishes can choose between the $45 Feed Me menu or the $85 Zeitaku Set menu. There are also options for Gluten Free and Vegan set menus to satisfy all dietary requirements.

If you still have room for dessert, the matcha tiramisu is definitely worth the calories. The Japanese twist on the Italian classic features a soft sponge and green matcha dust with vanilla cream and fresh berries.

Small bowls of noodles topped with cucumber and seaweed

This canape version of the vegan soba noodle dish was a surprise winner. Photo: Kazuri Photography.

Chop Chop is looking to be a more accessible version of Edo Tori, retaining the same fun and irreverent pop-fusion style of Asian food but at a slightly lower price point. There are plenty of dishes to share and plenty of reasons to visit.

Chop Chop is located at 43 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra. They are open from 12 noon until late, Wednesday to Sunday. Follow Chop Chop on Facebook or Instagram and visit their website for more information.

Original Article published by Lucy Ridge on Riotact.

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