Chop Chop by Four Seasons at The Hippodrome – Review
Down a colourful postered staircase, and past a “no loitering” sign, found hiding in the basement is this exotic, high end Cantonese restaurant known as Chop Chop. If you didn’t know it was there, you probably wouldn’t look, but amongst the soft green and cream booths, lit by neon fish, this eatery might just be the Hippodrome’s best kept secret.
Celebrating its first birthday, the restaurant serves its delicious Cantonese dishes from 6pm to 4am – satisfying those late-night duck cravings – and in style, with the Divine Duck having been named the best in the world by the Financial Times. We started off with some cocktails, and the Jasmine Botanical Tea, served in a tea pot with a fish bottomed sipping cup, it was just the trick to wind down after a day of work. If you love gin and jasmine tea, this is the cocktail for you!
All the dishes were as generous in portion as they were tasty. For starters, we sampled the Salt and Pepper Prawn, Spring Rolls, Char Sui BBQ Chicken Bun and the promising Shitake Mushroom & Water Chestnut dumplings. The Spring Rolls were crispy with plenty of filling, no sog or grease in sight but the standout starter was hard to pick out. The Prawns were lightly battered and tasty, the Bao Buns soft and fluffy, the best we’ve ever had. But the dumplings just stole the show, as a vegetarian option the filling was plentiful, shitake mushrooms and chestnut, easy to pick out and taste their textures, and the steamed pastry done to perfection.
After these epic starters, we were starting to get full, but the menu continued to impress, and we had to narrow down the main selection. So many of these dishes sounded so good and there was something for all diets. And a special mention should go to “Choppy” the robot, who you’ll see taking himself in and out of the kitchen, helping take plates to the porters, and generally causing a flurry of chat and picture-taking at his presence.
We paired our mains of Steamed Whole Sea Bass and Char Sui BBQ Pork with the Chicken Chow Main, Egg Fried Rice and, Chinese broccoli. All of which came in generous portions, especially the Pork, which with sides, was easily enough for two. The Pork was the star of the show, with very traditional flavouring and cooked to perfection we felt this deserved as much love as the famous duck. The Seabass was light and fresh, with simple flavours of ginger and spring onion, it worked perfectly with the Kai Lan (Chinese Broccoli) for which you can choose your flavour preference of oyster, garlic, ginger or simply stir-fried.
We were in early for dinner, but by the time 7.30pm came around the place was buzzing, with double dates, girlfriends out for after work drinks and tables of 16 people. It’s clearly a popular place, and for good reason. The service was on point, the cocktails fun, the food delicious, the portions generous and the prices very reasonable.
Address: Hippodrome, Cranbourn Street, London WC2H 7JH
Written by Polly Robin
Photo one and two courtesy of Chop Chop