Emeril's Tchoup Chop
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Emeril's Tchoup Chop Restaurant Review: Tchoup Chop (pronounced chop-chop) is a departure for chef Emeril Lagasse, best known for his Food Network stardom and classic New Orleans fare. Located in the Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando, the restaurant is named after New Orleans' famous Tchoupitoulas Street, where Emeril's parent restaurant makes its home. But that's where any homage to the bayou ends. Themed to the hotel's island décor and designed by the Rockwell Group, Tchoup Chop has a tiki bar complete with bamboo, waterfalls, sculpted gardens and giant woks for cooking in an open kitchen. Start with an island-themed drink like a Dark and Stormy. Then choose from a menu that also is true to the theme, focusing on Pacific Island cuisine with special attention paid to Hawaii. It’s no small wonder as chef de cuisine Ryan Vargas is a Hawaii native, having come on board Emeril's Tchoup Chop after stints at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai and The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua. For starters, try the crispy kalua chicken egg rolls or the Tchoup Chop crunchy shrimp with hot and sour chili glaze. Then you can consider a selection of bowls, either rice, noodle or salad. Loco moco should delight any Hawaii aficionado: Emeril’s signature fried rice topped with a burger patty and fried egg with a teriyaki-mushroom sauce. Desserts are a big deal: Emeril’s famous banana cream pie with caramel sauce and chocolate shavings is where to stop unless you just don't like bananas.