Food Review: Chao Chao

Words: George White
Wednesday 19 July 2023
reading time: min, words

If you’re in the mood to dress up nice and dig into a cracking katsu curry, Notts boasts plenty of top restaurants that offer the chance to do exactly that. Yet, if you’re wanting to stay in your hoodie, sliders placed firmly on your feet, and wolf one down in the comfort of your own home, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better option than Chao Chao - and, with joints in Arnold, Beeston, and West Bridgford, you can rely on them wherever you’re based (well, pretty much)...

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One of the most delightful things about a quality katsu is that if you drop some fried tofu in there, those babies will soak up all the flavour to create delightful little packages of joy - and Chao Chao’s are no different. With each bite comes a taste explosion, a hit of proper happiness for the tastebuds. 

Yet, when you’re done with those, the good times continue throughout the rest of the dish. Dumping the rest of the curry onto freshly-cooked jasmine rice is a treat in itself, the simplicity of the rice allowing the spices and aromas to really come into their own.

Then, as a final Brucie bonus, the generous topping of edamame beans rounds everything out perfectly. There’s something about edamame beans that just works; they’re so simple, manage to be both hearty and refreshing, and offer a hit of salty serotonin to complement the spices. You best believe they put a positive spin on the term ‘beansing it’. 

Forking out £11 for one dish is never fun (although, to be fair, it’s becoming the norm for anything outside of a bag of carrot sticks - thanks Tory Government), and when you first lay eyes on your neatly-packaged meal, it may not look like much. But, as a struggling Premier League manager might say, trust the process - because, by the time you’re done, you’ll be more than happy with the experience.
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