Last night I was lucky enough to be invited down to the new Chop’d on Cross Street in Manchester for an evening learning more about the company, and> what they offer. Chop’d have been open in London since December 2004, and> they have a large number of stores across the city. Luckily for us Mancunian based salad lovers however they have now opened their first store outside of London in our awesome city. With an ethos of tasty food you would be happy to feed your kids; they are all about real, natural food full of flavour. As Eddie the managing director said last night, food that hasn’t been messed about with for the sake of it and> you can definitely tell the food was great.

Taste Testing

On arrival we were greeted by the friendly staff, grabbed a drink and> given our lovely Chop’d apron. Once everyone had arrived, Eddie introduced himself as the managing director of the company, and> chatted to us about Chop’d and> their ethos. You could really see the passion Eddie and> the other guys had for the product they were selling, and> it was great to see. We then got to sample a few of the products for ourselves, including what I can only describe as the best smoked salmon I have ever eaten. The guys bigged it up quite a lot, but I can honestly say it deserves it. The salmon was beautiful and> trying it with their jerk paste was heavenly. As part of the sampling session we also got to try some of their apples, from the Brogdale orchard in Kent and> their tomatoes from a nursery in West Sussex. 

The Chop’d guys try and> use local, seasonal produce where they can but did admit that for some items it is just not possible, the UK is not known for its avocados for example.

Build Your Own

Part of the Chop’d brand> is a build your own salad bar, crammed full of lots of lovely, fresh looking ingredients. They cater for all tastes and> nutritional needs, including vegan and> gluten free. We were shown how it worked, and> what is included and> then it was our turn. I will admit I can be quite fussy when it comes to salads, I don’t like too many ingredients and> try and> keep it simple. With so much choice it was difficult to choose what to go for. After chatting with some of the other bloggers I decided to work backwards and> choose my deli items, as much as I loved the salmon I wanted to try some other ingredients and> as the prawns looked pretty awesome I knew I wanted to include those, so my deli items of choice were Prawns & Chorizo, a combination I know works well. Onto the base, I went for the baby leaf mix and> added some peppers, cucumber, roast vegetables and> some sundried tomato. There was so much choice, with different Leaf options, Olives, Boiled Eggs, Pasta, Rice, Cous Cous, Broccoli, Beans, Beetroot, Carrot – the list goes on! After adding my deli items it was on to the dressing, I went for a fruity option with their Mango Dressing. Again there was a vast choice of dressing, Balsamic, Caesar, Sesame Soy, French, Honey & Mustard and> Ranch but I think I made a good decision. Finally I added a garnish of Croutons, there was also Tortilla Chips, Seeds and> Nuts for the garnish but you can’t beat a good bit of crunch in a Salad.

Once we’d built the salad, we were given a huge mixing bowl to stir the ingredients and> ensure we could taste all the flavours together. This for me made the salad so much better. One of my issues with some build your own salad places has been that you end up with a pile of cucumber, a pile of tomatoes, a pile of chicken and> the dressing drizzled on top, so mixing it was a huge plus for me!

So this was my Salad, and> I was pretty impressed with myself! It was probably one of the best salads I’ve eaten. Although I would love to say it was all down to my awesome salad building skills, I think it was mainly due to the amazing ingredients at Chop’d.

Home Time

Once we had all built our salads, and> had sampled our work, it was almost time to leave. Before leaving however we were shown the small work space they have downstairs, which was fab and> told about the Grindsmith Coffee they also have in the shop. As a coffee lover I will definitely be heading back to sample some. Luckily for us there were goodie bags to take home and> they included some of the fabulous Smoked Salmon I mentioned before.

I would definitely recommend Chop’d to anyone in the Manchester area; it’s a great option for a healthy, tasty lunch or even dinner. The portion sizes are very generous. I genuinely loved Chop’d and> the event, I can’t wait to head back and> recreate my perfect salad.

Thanks to all the guys at Chop’d Manchester for a fabulous evening, and> letting me try your amazing food.