Staying thin in Karachi is now next to impossible. No matter where you live, you are less than 10 minutes away from a major food street (unless you’re from Malir Cantt, my sympathies). One such up and coming food street is on Tipu Sultan road. It’s one of my favorite places to be, mostly because it’s nearer, and houses many restaurants and cafes that I love. One such restaurant is (was) Chop Chop Wok.
I have been to Chop Chop Wok countless times. Numerous heart to heart conversations with my mum I have had over a plate of Wasabi Prawns and Black Pepper Beef. Recently I learnt that they have expanded their menu and added sushi as well. Given how two very similar Asian Fusion restaurants have opened up just next door, it was the right move.
If anything, now was the time for them to really up their game and go all out to attract new customers and retain their loyal ones. Did they? Not really. My last visit to Chop Chop Wok may very well be my last. I am a very forgiving customer. I don’t speak out unless absolutely necessary. I lay out reasons why I might have had a bad experience. This time however I could do nothing.
I visited Chop Chop Wok last week with my mum. We ordered Crispy California rolls, black pepper beef and Cantonese chicken noodles and waited. And wait. And waited some more. It was a weekday and around 4pm. certainly not rush hour and there weren’t many people there either.
Finally after a long time, we were served Crispy California Rolls. They were alright. That’s all that I can say about them. My mother isn’t much of a sushi fan so I had to coax her into eating some. She said she didn’t care much for it. And I don’t blame her. The rice were too clumpy, the filling not quite enough in proportion.
Then after a little more wait we were served the rest of our order; Cantonese Noodles and Black Pepper Beef. While the Cantonese noodles were fine, one bite into black pepper beef and I knew I had to say something. The rice served with the beef were completely uncooked, (even my mother heard the crunch). I politely called over the server and told him the issue. He apologetically took the plate to the kitchen.
In the meanwhile I kept helping myself to my mother’s food and pecked and pecked until the server placed what I thought were fixed rice in front of me. Were they fixed? Erm well, no. The rice now not as crunchy as before tasted stale and were very cold. I shuddered to think what went on with them. By this time, my patience had run cold. I politely called the server once more and told him to take the plate back and not to bring it back again.
I felt an unimaginable amount of guilt for doing that. My parents have instilled within me an intense hatred of wasting food (I was repeatedly told that all the food I wasted, its equal worth will be cut out from my body on judgment day). So damn you Chop Chop Wok for making me waste an entire plate of my favorite food.
To their credit, the server and manager tried to make it up by offering a fresh plate of food and then free dessert, both of which we refused. When the bill came, I saw they had charged me for the plate I sent back. Maybe they were trying to be funny, I however had lost my sense of humor. I called the server back and pointed that out to him. He apologized and brought me back a new bill.
Now that two very similar restaurants have opened up just next door, this is a very bad time for Chop Chop Wok to let go of their quality. It no longer is a nice place to sit and enjoy quality food.