For those seeking an exquisite Cantonese meal in central London, the recently opened Chop Chop restaurant by Four Seasons, nestled in the basement of the Hippodrome Casino in Leicester Square, is a must-visit. I had the pleasure of dining there recently and was blown away by the quality of the food, which exceeded my expectations, and transported me to the streets of Hong Kong.
Despite my global travels, I had never visited a casino in England before, however, Chop Chop's proximity to Leicester Square tube station made it an easily accessible location. Upon entering the casino, I was searched, and although my ID was not requested, I was asked to leave my recently purchased bottle of whisky in the cloakroom. Had it been the new Springbank 27-year-old I had recently won in the ballot, I might have objected and walked away. Fortunately, that was being sent by courier and the bottle I had purchased was a single cask Cotswold Distillery expression at 2% of the cost of the Springbank…
The menu at Chop Chop was a delight to peruse, and given that my dining partner was delayed at work, I had ample time to decide on our order.
To start, we savoured the dim sum selection, which included prawn and chive, minced pork and prawn, and prawn and char sui BBQ pork buns. Each bite was packed with a burst of flavour, and the texture of the dumplings was impeccable, not the slightest bit gloopy. The prawn's flavour was crisp, while the pork was tender and well-seasoned. The BBQ pork buns were a personal favourite, with the sweet, sticky meat being revealed as I pulled apart the bun.
For our main courses, we shared the Cantonese roast duck, crispy pork belly, barbecue pork, and steamed garlic prawn with glass noodles. The duck was cooked to perfection, with the meat being moist and full of flavour. The crispy pork belly was an excellent example of this dish, with the skin being crackling and crispy, while the meat was juicy and tender. The BBQ pork had a delightful smoky flavour and was incredibly succulent, while the garlic prawns with glass noodles delivered a wonderful garlic kick.
The restaurant itself has an intimate atmosphere, with dim lighting, booths, and a touch of art deco reminiscent of a visit to Hong Kong in 1994. The dining area is spacious, and the menu is focused, making it easy to choose from. I couldn't help but notice the enthusiasm of the diners seated next to us, who ordered the lobster and made an Instagram or TikTok reel of it. The prices were reasonable, particularly given the quality of the food and the prime location.
Aside from the excellent food and lovely atmosphere, the staff at Chop Chop were welcoming and professional. From the moment I entered, I was greeted by the host with warmth and escorted to my table, where I was offered green tea that was regularly replenished, ensuring it was always hot. Throughout the meal, the waitstaff were attentive and helpful, offering recommendations and answering any questions I had. Often in London staff can be transient, but they seemed genuinely happy to be working there, and their positive energy was refreshing.
Overall, I recommend visiting Chop Chop if you are looking for a hit of sumptuous Cantonese flavours in London. The dim sum was some of the best I've ever had, and the main courses were equally delicious. If you find yourself in need of nourishment late at night and need something that is going to hit the right spot, this is the perfect destination. Chop Chop closes at 4am, so if I miss my last train home just after midnight, I know where to head…