Asian-themed pork, seafood, beef and vegetarian dishes.
Long a dark-horse favorite among local foodies, Tchoup Chop's new chef de cuisine Ryan Vargas reinvigorated the restaurant in 2014, renovating its kitchen in 2014 with an expanded sushi bar -- rolling creatively overstuffed maki like the Red Dragon (tuna, panko shrimp, habanero mayo) or Surf & Turf (blue crab, hibachi steak, truffle oil) -- and one of Central Florida's only robata grills, capable of searing small morsels (such as pork belly tocino or randomly-spicy shishito peppers) at a scorching 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
The best appetizer is still the deliciously messy kiawe smoked baby back ribs, which are often discounted during the bar's daily (5-8 p.m.) happy hour, Royal Pacific's best-kept culinary secret.
The beef and duck entrees stand out more than the seafood or vegetarian dishes, which is a bit surprising for a restaurant that bills itself as an Asian/Polynesian fusion. The roasted duck breast was the hit of the meal. If you have your heart set on seafood, the cedar wrapped salmon or sesame tuna is your best bet.
The bartenders seem to have a slightly better grasp of the wine list than some of the waitstaff. Don't be shy about asking one of the bar staff for a wine recommendation.
Setting and Atmosphere
A cavernous space on the bottom floor of the Royal Pacific, with painted concrete floors and tall ceilings. Tchoup Chop features an open kitchen with seating to watch your food being made. A glass and wood partition separates the bar from the main dining room, and there's an outdoor bar just a few feet from Tchoup Chop's entrance, too.
The menu changes frequently. Lunch: rice and noodle bowls, large salads, sandwiches. Dinner: robata-grilled vegetables, sushi (nigiri and maki), Korean fried chicken, smoked duck, blackened fish.
DRINK SPOTLIGHT: Mai Tai at Emeril's Tchoup Chop
Requires Credit Card to Reserve:
Requires Pre-payment in Full: No
Universal Dining Plan
Does not participate.
|When to go||Lunch or dinner|
|Parking||At Royal Pacific Resort; Free valet parking available at Royal Pacific convention entrance (don't pull up to front lobby).|
|Bar||Yes; Happy Hour from 5 PM to 8 PM, typically with $5 appetizers|
|Dress||Resort casual - no swimwear, tank tops, flip-flops or shorts|
|Lunch Hours||11:30 AM - 2:30 PM|
|Dinner Hours||5 PM - 10 PM Sun-Thurs; 5 PM - 11 PM Fri-Sat|