Not sure how you guys are with bringing your lunch to work, but I'm not great. I used to be a whole lot better when I lived in Montreal, but I just don't seem to get around to it here. Eating out at lunch can really up the daily calorie count and I find a lot of the places which appear to be healthy, usually are not (yes - I'm talking about you M&S, Pret, Eat, etc. etc.) Chop'd is pretty clear with the calorie count listing it proudly in front of all their take away salads, and if you choose to make your own salad their website offers a handy calorie counter tool. Just watch out for some those dressings!
You can either have the staff at Chop'd make you a custom salad with an endless variety of toppings, or pick one ready made from the shelf. The salads are extremely strong on the toppings - I'd say 50% topping 50% base. A base can be salad leaves, couscous, pasta, etc. or a mixture. They are also absolutely massive, and I dare anyone to say they won't fill you up for lunch. I also had doubts about just having salad for lunch, but my doubts were quickly dispelled and if you need something more filling you can always have pasta as the base.
Salads are not especially cheap (around GBP5.50) but with the amount of stuff they put in your salad, it's worth it. I actually went through a stage where I was sick of buying my salad and was making it at home. After buying all the ingredients (for me it was ham, mushrooms, corn, roast red pepper which I roasted myself, bean mix and walnuts) it actually turned out fairly even getting it from Chop'd or bringing it in.
They don't do just salads and I've had the Gazpacho (which I enjoyed) and the cut up veg with hummous. This has been my only major Chop'd disappointment. The hummous had the texture of curdled milk, and I had to throw it out.
If you are looking for something fresh, healthy and filling - go for Chop'd.
Whilst I enjoy the freshness of their salads, there's a few things that put my back up about this branch:
- When I opt for a leaf base (usually the deli or iceberg lettuce) the bowl is piled high. Then we go on to the three choices which is a scoop from the bowls on display. These are on the average side. Then there's the protein choice (and what really winds me up), which just about qualifies as a scoop! I've seen people ask for more and even took a colleague with me once who also made a request - but why should we have to?! Lastly, the salad is tossed and served and the bowl is about 20% empty :(
it would also be a good idea to keep the protein area more tidy. I often see drops of cheese in the fish, meat etc or vice versa. Not a good look for the vegetarian crowd.
I do enjoy a good salad but at around £5 a pop and the above service, something's gonna give in this relationship. I may find myself falling for another salad bar.
As I sit here, salad in hand (well, fork, I do have some manners!) it would be hard to slag of Chop'd!
Their create your own salads are £5.50 which is a lot more than I would spend on a salad, were it not for the fact that they are so huge I take two days to eat it (not solidly, you understand, but over two lunchtime periods!). Additionally they have little savers like 'don't get a bag and get an extra deli item' and the same if you bring a bag from another day in to recycle!
They also have a selection of pre-made salads and wraps, fruits, breads, banana chips, muffins etc etc - all top quality.
Aside from tasty food, there is always good banter with the staff and the 'behind the scenes' area looks very clean and tidy (good sign!)
This place is so successful it has attracted competitor Mana to set up shop just across teh road. But it still thrives!
Expect to queue for a while to mix you own salad. Not that it would be necessary - the ready made ones are lovely.
Had the most disgusting salad, which I have given up eating half way through: pancetta and chicken (I think it's chicken) which has huge amounts of gristle. Really horrible to have in a mixed salad. Will not order that again.
Great take away salad bar, in the heart of the City. The great thing about Chop'd is that you can ring or email your order in the morning, they'll make it up for you and leave it in the fridge with your name on it. That way, you just pop it, pick it up and go - life in the fast lane!
There's a wide selection of salad components for you to create your own, and sauce is sold separately. Blue cheese sauce on a salad of potato and pasta? Yep please! Their pre-made (made in the mornings so not left lying around all day) are delicious; salmon Cesar is a particular favour tie, as well as many seasonal varieties. The only downside to Chop'd is the price. You're looking at around a fiver for a salad. Yep they're big and yep they're healthy but that really is extortionate. The queues are mind blowing around lunchtime, so if you're planning a visit go early. They have a few tables outside in the beautiful Leadenhall Market. Perfecto.
Great varieties of salads with the staff are really responsive.
I agree with everything Mimi M has written. You have to ask for more. Also their sauces gave me a bad reaction so I won't go there anymore. Very expensive if I want to eat enough and I'm small and slim. Much better places around.
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