We decided to go to Emerils Tchoup Chop at Lowes Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Studios for lunch after trying to make reservations for dinner and being told there were none available. Tchoup Chop is easy to get to, especially if you are already at Universal Studios Park. Just hop right on a ferry boat to the Lowes resort and it drops you off at the entrance to the restaurant.
The first thing I noticed was how beautiful the dining room was. It had Lots of deep blues, oranges, and mahogany colors, water trickling down the walls in front of the open kitchen and a really cool reflecting pool in the middle of the room. This was one of the nicest dining rooms I have ever seen on my trips. The second thing I notice that was not as good, was the complete lack of real choices on the lunch menu. This was very disappointing. Although Going for lunch I had still hoped to have most of the same offerings as I would have had at dinner and was looking forward to sampling some really good sounding items. However the lunch menu only consisted of three appetizers, four or five soups & salads, a couple of noodle bowl options, and sushi. We all know I wasn't getting the sushi so my options were definitely limited. I think my disappointment was also a result of being told I could not have reservations for dinner and now at lunch I couldn't even have the dinner menu. We were at Emerils though and I decided to get over it and I was sure the food would be better here then most places.
For our appetizer we chose The Crispy Kahlua Chicken Egg Rolls with Orange Chili Dipping Sauce. The appetizer got to us a little slow considering there was only one other couple in the place, but it arrived hot and was just as good as I anticipated. The rice paper rolls were stuffed with ground marinated chicken, Asian vegetables and cellophane noodles then deep fried to a nice golden crunch. They were standing in a bed of the sweet spicy sauce accompanied by a drawing of the Emeril logo in chili paste on the side of the plate- a nice touch and a cool presentation.
For the entrees Simone and I chose the Noodle Bowls. Hers was vegetarian and mine had the addition of Thai beef. Again, a little slow with the arrival time and when the bowls did arrive we were both disappointed by them. Both Lacked two things. The first being flavor, and the second being ingredient's ( which i suppose explains the lack of flavor) The vegetable bowl had the overwhelming total of 4 kinds of vegetables (unless you count the fresh cilantro- I don't). It had lots of broth, a medium amount of noodles, some shredded carrot, sliced scallion, sprouts and a half of a piece of baby bok choy. That was it. My bowl was the exact same thing, but had beef broth with lots of fish sauce ( that smelled not so good) and had the addition of a not so generous 5 pieces of sliced beef. The beef itself was very tender and fell apart in your mouth but once again it lacked flavor. The fresh herbs in the noodle bowls were very nice as this was the only real flavor in them.
We hoped to salvage our meal with dessert, and thankfully there were many to chose from. I had my heart set on something called carrot cake cookies, so I let the waiter know, and of course those were not available. ARRRRGGHHH. Okay choice number two was the Kahlua Chocolate Cake that was filled with a a nutty peanut butter mousse and sat in a pool of sweet bananas foster sauce. It was as I hoped the rest of the meal had been like, delicious and full of flavor. The other dessert we tried was the Sweet Cream Cheese Dumplings with Guava Mango dipping sauce. The dumplings were above my expectations. They were so good, stuffed full of cream cheese , deep fried and covered with powdered sugar. You could not go wrong with these. The sauce on the side was sweet overkill as these were good all by themselves.
So , again I must report that I was let down by another celeb restaurant. Maybe my expectations are just to high for these places. The appetizers and desserts at Emerils Thoup Chop were very good, but the lunch entree options and the preperation of them was a complete disappointment. There was definitely no BAM for my buck here at Emerils. 2 1/2 stars.