When you think of ringing in a Chinese takeaway, you might imagine a dry mouth from excess MSG intake and a stack of plastic boxes you swear you’ll use. Nottingham’s urban oriental kitchen, Chao Chao, might just be the antidote for your noodle-based problems.
Their slogan reads “fresher, cleaner, greener”: fresher, as all ingredients are sustainably sourced from a factory with the highest food-quality standards; cleaner, as there’s no MSG in sight; and greener, because all their packaging is recyclable.
The menu consists of your usual takeaway classics as well as other Asian-inspired delicacies. To begin, we dove into a generous portion of bang bang cauliflower (£4.75), a crispy, fried version of the veg served with a special dipping sauce, along with Korean sticky chicken wings (£5.25) and bao buns (£6.50) stuffed with lemongrass beef and a crispy kimchi salad.
The real highlight of the small-plate menu was the gunpowder fried chicken (£6.50), the spicy meat covered in crushed peanuts and served with hot sauce. For mains, we split a portion of crispy and sweet teriyaki beef (£7.95) and selected two curries to tip our stomachs over the edge. The Malaysian street food curry (£7.75 for veg and tofu) was creamy and sweet, while the Balinese beef rendang curry (£9.75) packed a real punch, the fiery chillies and tender meat proving a delight to the tastebuds.
It felt great to eat this style of Asian food without a hint of guilt, especially knowing we’d saved a pile of plastic boxes from clogging up both our kitchen cupboards and landfills. Whether you order their food from Just Eat, pop in for collection or visit their bright and airy eatery in West Bridgford, Chao Chao is a great choice for a weekend pig-out. Emily Thursfield
75 Melton Rd, West Bridgford, NG2 6EN. 0115 981 9439