If there is anything in Ajijic dining that says modest, clean, bright and easy to get to, it’s Chopsticks.
An unpretentious restaurant in a simple setting that promises and delivers fine oriental food, kitchen-made and served with class and care. And at amazingly low prices. It’s modest to a fault and many people often don’t notice it. Unfortunate, because it may be the best oriental food in town.
The fare at Chopsticks has been winnowed down to a short but adequate menu, maybe the shortest in Ajijic. Nonetheless, each dish is flagged as a house specialty. Entrees are framed around their carb base. Noodles: “A Bowl Salad (Bu’n)” is a leafy bowl of salad with rice noodles dressed with a creamy, mild peanut sauce and a choice of roasted chicken, pork or veggies that raise it to a light but satisfying luncheon meal. Rice: (Co’m) a bowl of steamed rice with cabbage slaw and Chopstick’s signature tangy ginger-carrot dressing – again crowned with grilled chicken, pork or a vegetarian mix. Bread: This baguette comes with greens coated with ginger-carrot dressing and a choice of pork or a seed and grain burger-like patty.
As a fourth choice, the Specialty of the Day is usually an oriental noodle soup with meat or fish. If it takes you more than three minutes to order, you’ve been on your smart phone too long.
I started with a trio of vegetarian “summer rolls,” folded up in a rice-flour wrap with my hands, dipping them in a sweet and savory dipping sauce (a fashion model’s lunch in itself). I grabbed my baguette with its grain-made burger by hand as well. But I ate my green salad with chop sticks, which is about the only thing I know how to eat with chop sticks, an eating utensil that is 9,000 years old. I will never master eating soups with chop sticks. What is it that orientals have against spoons after 9,000 years?
My companion took immediately to the Noodle Bowl Salad with chicken and rice noodles over a pocket of greens. Everything we had looked menu-cover perfect. And appeared within a few minutes. Add entree selection time together with serving time and we were dining in ten minutes tops.
If you’re taking your time to chat, there is a wide choice of beverages, including probiotic ginger ales and juices, teas as well as beer. Everything was delivered with a gracious solicitude that made us both feel we could ask for anything and a genie would appear.
Chopsticks is accessible through an entrance inside the Plaza Bugambilias and on Calle Juan Alvarez, near the plaza’s parking entrance. Chopsticks’ location should become a hub for anyone dreaming of a fine oriental lunch or early dinner.
Oh, and they do have forks, spoons and knives. But I dare you to try the noodle soup with the chop sticks.