Tag Archives: Chinese

Edinburgh’s best kept secret: Matthew’s Foods

15 Nov

I’d like to share what I think is one of Edinburgh’s best kept secrets. Take a trip with me to the Far East, okay the West of Edinburgh.

Matthew‘s Foods is chock full of all sorts of superb ingredients at the most reasonable prices. It’s great fun to explore. Some things are familiar, others are frankly weird and wonderful.


Matthews Foods Supermarket

Matthew's Foods Supermarket


From the outside you’d probably think it stocks just Chinese ingredients. Not so. You’ll find just about any ingredient you could possibly wish for whether you are cooking Indian, Thai, Korean, Japanese, British and of course, Chinese.

Just inside the front door you’ll find the fresh produce – plenty of unfamiliar and more recognisable items.  Ahead you’ll find aisles of produce  – each aisle seems to gather ingredients from a different cuisine together – this can be a little confusing as you can find coconut for instance  in several different places.


Spices from Matthew's Foods

Spices from Matthew's Foods


The ingredients are ridiculously cheap, and are offered in small, medium, large and enormous bags. I look at huge bag of cumin seeds and wonder how many years it would take me to get through it and it’s less than £5. There are bags of nuts – a kilo of cashews at little more than you’d pay for 250 grams in a high street supermarket.

At the back there are frozen items – intriguing dumplings, dim sum, seafood, fish and meats – what fun to have a party to try them all out.

In another aisle, teas and dried mushrooms. You often catch yourself wondering exactly what such and such is.  Near the exit, you can find utensils, cleavers, steamers and other kitchen bits and pieces.

I’m a regular visitor and always astonished how little I spend when I’ve stocked up on  umpteen things. There, it’ll be a best kept secret no longer.

So take a little trip to the orient, it’s such fun and very easy on your purse.

Matthews Foods

36 Inglis Green Rd
Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh EH14 2ER
0131 443 8686

Go Chop Chop to this new restaurant in Leith

1 Jul

Your heart rather sinks when you hear another restaurant has opened in “restaurant death row” opposite the Scottish Office on Commercial Street, Leith. With the exception of the Kitchin and Daniel’s restaurant who have successfully dug their heals in, many restaurants have opened and soon closed. 

Following a wonderful dinner last night, I am sure Chop Chop will be an exception. Fans already note the Haymarket location as their favourite restaurant in Edinburgh, and judging the number of people on a Wednesday night, they are flocking to Leith too. 

I have to declare, this is the first time I have eaten out at Chinese restaurant in many, many years as I have an aversion to MSG used liberally in many restaurants. The chance to celebrate Social Media day encourage me and Mr EF to go along. 

Chop Chop Edinburgh

Chop Chop's famous dumplings


The group celebrating were served the Unlimited Banquet. Rather than read the menu in advance, we decided to “go with the flow” and find out more as the dishes arrived. Do check out the full menu, a real bargain at £18.50 per person. 

The flavours of the dishes were fresh and completely different from the standard Chinese menu. The unprepossessing boiled dumplings pictured were stuffed with pork and coriander, beautifully moist and delicate. Other particular favourites were the fresh salads; gloriously sticky sweet and sour pork ribs; the spinach and peanuts; the crispy northern beef and the aubergines with garlic. Those on other tables whose eyes were bigger than their stomachs ordered more in the (short) interval and struggled to finish. We were more restrained but by the time the last item came, we definitely felt satiated. 

If you’ve been put off by the fact that the Haymarket restaurant featured on Gordon Ramsay’s F-Word Best Restaurant (Series 5, episode 4) , don’t be. Book that table today.  Currently, the restaurant is BYOB (you can buy beer) so don’t forget to take along your own bottle. There are some opening offers well worth checking out.  

Chop Chop