Chicken Noodle Supersoup – Chop’d, Old Spitalfield Market

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The healthy trend continues today at Junk4lunch but I promise my gluttonious self will return soon. As the weather turns colder, keep finding myself craving for soupy noodles. I have tried most of the soupy stuff from the independent as well as chain stalls around the area with one exception. So thought why not?

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Chop’d is one of those what I would call DIY salad places that have sprung up in recent years. The idea is simple, they categorized the salad ingredients into groups, then you get to pick a number of items from each group to create your own salad for a fix price. You may add more from each group at an additional cost obviously. I find the concept pretty fun but for those of you who are undecisive, it can be a nightmare trying to figure out what goes with what with the queue forming behind you. To solve this problem, Chop’d also have pre-made salads ready to go. Most of these are tried and tested combination so they can’t go wrong.

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Apart from salads, Chop’d also has a variety of hot stews, noodle soup, wraps and sweet treats. To satiate my craving, I grabbed the Chicken Noodle Supersoup tub from the fridge section and got it topped up with Thai Spicy broth. Other broth options include a vegetable and a chicken broth. The soup tubs come in 2 sizes, the small at £3.50 and the large is £5.50. With the large soup coming in at only 271 kcal, perhaps I can have some toast and Marmite later!

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I was surprised, that I was only given a spoon and suspect the noodles will be all cut up thus you’d only need a spoon. I was right (as usual) also, the proportion of noodle to other ingredient is surprisingly low. I think the thin rice noodles only took up 10% of the entire tub. No wonder they can keep the calories down. Apart from the rice noodles, the other ingredients are shredded roast chicken, brocoli, savoy cabbage, carrot, mushrooms, green beans, lemongrass, edamame and some onion confit (sliced onions that has been sweat down).

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Did I enjoy it? Well, the broth was light and strongly fragrant with lemongrass but could with more salt. All the crunchy veggies were a joy to chew, realised I did not really missed the noodles while the shredded chicken was moist and tender. I enjoyed it but somehow, it did not hit my taste buds the way Crussh did yesterday. Perhaps I’m really hungry today, I think this is best suited for a hangover day.

Chop’d
2 Horner Square
Old Spitalfields Market
London E1 6EW
0207 247 8757

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Roast Chicken Dinner – Dockland Diner, West India Dock

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You must be thinking Junk is out of her mind! Why is she having dinner for lunch? Well, I can frankly admit that I can eat anything anytime of the day and I will even go as far as having curry for breakfast! Seriously though, today’s lunch is from a funny little place near my Canary Wharf and they have a limted menu. I was stuck between having their All Day Breakfast or one of their roast dinners for lunch, I went for dinner.

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Dockland Diner is a typical greasy spoon which I believe might be a dying breed nowadays what with takeovers by fast food and and designer cafe chains. The joint is ran by a troop of females (I counted 5 in total) and everyone seems to know everyone which can be a tad intimidating for newbies like me. The place is rather hard to spot as it does not have the usual frontage of a food outlet with just a plain plastic sign evidence of it’s existence.

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I don’t think I spotted any paper menus apart from the couple of blackboards along the interior walls. From what I gather, they serve the typical breakfast, filled jacket potato, the token lasagne, some pies and roast dinners with a choice of protein. I wanted to have the pork roast but they were freshly out and so was the lamb, no choice but roast chook it shall be. For £6, I think it’s not a bad deal, especially when the lady manning the cash register did not charge me for the ginger beer which I added to my order.

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To be honest, I don’t really know how a roast dinner should taste like. The chicken was roasted with perhaps just a slight seasoning of salt and on the dry side, the single Yorkshire pudding and roast potatoes taste like Aunt Bessie’s, the carrots, peas and runner beans were probably frozen and I can tell the gravy is of the Bisto variety. This roast dinner makes Crown Carvery taste like gourmet, even Furry makes a better roast!

Having said that, I think the ambiance is rather cool. Real, loud, edgy, east end. I might give their breakfast a try next time before discounting them totally.

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Dockland Diner
76 Canon Drive
West India Dock
London E14 4AS
0207 515 7160

Grilled Baby Chicken – Shahi Karahi, Brick Lane

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I found this restaurant on the way to the gym. Have been intrigued by the huge grill and rotisserie at the front of the restaurant and the rotisserie is always filled with rows upon rows of baby chicken. They do have a special of half a roast chicken with chips for £3.95 but being a rice bucket, I decided to swap chips with rice. Paid a higher price but it satisfied me.

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Shahi Karahi is another one of the multitude of Indian restaurant dotted along Brick Lane. Strictly speaking, it’s on Osborne Street but seeing that Osborne Street joins Brick Lane, I will not quibble. The front of the restaurant is occupied by the rotisserie, a couple of grill plates, a steam table of pre-prepared curry dishes and a fridge area for kebabs, lamb chops, chicken wings etc, all skewered and ready for the grill. There is a huge sitting area at the back of the restaurant if you would like to dine in.

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I added a meat samosa to my order and all in came up to £6.50. Because I switch from rice to chips, I did not get the £3.95 deal. Looking at the menu, a portion of plain rice cost £2 while half a grilled baby chicken is £3.50 so it made sense. The meal comes with a small portion of salad and I asked for some chili sauce for the chicken and some gravy for the rice. I was very happy with the chicken. It was nicely grilled with a nice smoky and charred flavour without being dry at all, the savoury marinate was just right with the right hint of sourness from lemon juice I think. I was asked if I wanted the chicken to be spicy and obviously I said yes! Not to worry, it was not spicy at all.

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Guess next time, I will save a few pence and order the version with chips.

Shahi Karahi
22 Osborne Street, Brick Lane
London E1 6TD
0203 116 2080