The Pop In Cafe in West End Arcade: Chinese Street Food Snacks

The Pop In Cafe in the West End Arcade in Nottingham has taken over the space formerly occupied by Audrey’s Creperie. This brightly coloured pink cafe is now serving bubble teas and a variety of Asian Street Foods.

The menu includes dishes such as fried chicken, dumplings, steak, braised beef, and somewhat ironically given the location, they also just started doing crepes.

Over the last couple of weeks I have been in to try a few dishes. I would have liked to try more but sadly they seem to run out quickly as it’s quite a small place.

Chicken Dish Menu

The Chicken dish section of the menu was offering up a few classic fried chicken snack options. ‘Chicken Pops’, ‘Taiwan Fried Chicken’, and ‘Salt crispy chicken breast’

I would have happily ordered all three as I do like a bit of fried chicken, but I was drawn towards the Taiwanese Fried Chicken as I had recently discovered the delights of this dish at another bubble tea shop in Nottingham (read more here) so I was keen to order and compare

Taiwanese Fried Chicken

The Taiwanese Fried Chicken at the Pop In Cafe was also very good. It seemed more rustic and homemade that the one at T4 but I suppose that is no surprise as that one probably came out of a box.

The coating on the chicken was nice and crisp, perhaps a bit thick and it was falling off a little bit in places. It had a nice flavour though and was quite peppery. It was a decent sized plateful and the chicken thigh meat was still moist.

Chinese Street Food Menu

I love dumpling and in particular I really love Chinese dumplings or potstickers as they are often called in the States. I was really happy to find that they had both steamed and fried dumplings on the menu and also Soup Dumplings which I rarely manage to find around here.

I would have had those as the menu description was music to my ears and salivations to my taste buds “Soup Buns is Handmade Fresh every day. One of Chinese most popular street food. Each one of them full of soup and Pork meat, bite a small hole and drink the soup in Buns, then eat the whole buns”

Imagine my dismay when I learned that they didn’t have any 🙁

So with only a slightly heavy heart I had the Fried Dumplings instead, not too much of chore, but a tinge of sadness of what could have been.

Fried Dumplings

The dumplings were pretty crisply fried, they perhaps could have done with a touch less cooking. Having said that the coating where it wasn’t crisped up still had that lovely chewy bite that all good potstickers have. I liked the filling inside the dumplings, it had a great blend of herbiness and was a nice soft contrast. If was being particularly fussy I would have liked some sort of dipping sauce to go alongside them, even just a bit of chinese vinegar or soy sauce would have been nice.

Crepe Menu

I came back to the Pop In Cafe for another visit hoping to try out the soup dumplings, but alas they were absent once more and they had run out of lots again so I opted to try one of their crepes just because it looked so yummy in the photograph on the menu.

The Cheesy, Ham and Egg Crepe was really quite tasty, they added on a sprinkling of chopped scallion which gave a nice bit of crunchy greenage to the whole affair.

The actual crepe was quite crispy in places and soft in other bits, I liked that but I am not sure if that is the perfect way to make a Chinese crepe? Who cares though I liked it that way.

The egg was nice and runny and the melted cheese inside the crepe was gooey and made for good eating. The ham was ok, not much flavour and the whole thing could probably have done with a bit more seasoning. Aha but that was fine as I had salt and pepper to do it myself and remembered that not every one likes a lot of seasoning some of us like it bland for some reason. I expect that some one will going to be asking for tomato ketchup.

The dish that I really want to try here at the Pop In Cafe is the Beef with tomato Braised, I want that with noodles! So far though when I have ‘popped’ in (see what I did there) they have not had any. I am hopeful though that one magical day they will have everything on the menu and I will be able to get that and some soup dumplings!

If you like that bubble tea stuff then they probably have something for you here at the Pop In Cafe . I have seen lots of brightly coloured cupfuls on their Instagram page so I would say that you should check that out if this is your bag!

The Pop In Cafe or Popin Bobo as they like to refer to themselves on their Instagram page and website is located at 12-14 West End Arcade in Nottingham. That’s the covered arcade that runs up the hill from Angel Row to Upper Parliament Street

You can check them out on their website, and on their Instagram Feed

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