Supper Club at Chuan Lu Garden

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Fraught with anticipation, I entered through the back door of Ginza as instructed in the Scott Joseph reservation. I’m always a bit anxious attending these events because I usually go solo, but per usual, I was super excited for Supper Club. Any array of dinner guests show up to these events and without disappointment the mixed bag is always a treat. This foodie social provides an avenue to meet new people who share the same culinary love and the fact that dinners are served communal style makes for interesting conversation. Everyone shares their eagerness for the dinner introduction and interspersed descriptions of the next course. It’s like Kindergarteners waiting for their turn at show-at-tell.

You may have noticed I said I entered Ginza. We did eat from the Chuan Lu Garden menu. “How is that,” you ask? Chuan Lu Garden is a small, limited seating restaurant within Ginza, hidden behind an unmarked door for ‘those in the know’. Their menu is secret too. Well, unless you ask for the real Chinese menu and can speak to it like you know what you are ordering. The dishes here are far from the pseudo Cantonese-Americanized blend to which most folks are accustomed.

Nearly twenty years have passed since I toured the eastern seaboard of China. From Beijing to Shanghai and Hangzhou, Guangzhou to Hong Kong, and all in between, I tasted the full gamut. Much has changed in China since my excursion. Commerce of the rising sun has undoubtedly introduced new possibilities to the culture. This dinner rekindleSichuan memories of some of my favorites thanks to Ricky Ly, who you may otherwise know as one of the area’s top food restaurant bloggers, Tasty Chomps.

One of the main reasons for attending this particular Supper Club was to take my palate on a little excursion off the beaten…path. Chinese cuisine is a general term for the myriad specialities traditionally custom to each provence. It is for this reason many find duplication difficult. The first hurdle is ingredients. Despite global economy, certain vegetables and spices are still only available in China. Close substitutes can be found at local asian markets, but still not readily accessible to the average cook. This is why finding a restaurant truly focused on one type of Chinese cooking is important. And when you do find such a gem, leave your home-cookin’ ego at home and surrender to the experts!

The menu from Scott Joseph’s Supper Club at Chuan Lu Garden heated up the tastebuds in an already balmy summer setting. Thank you Scott and Ricky for planning yet another superbly fun evening!

In Order of Presentation:
cucumber saladQiang Pai Huang Gua – Stir Fried Spicy “literally Firecracker” Cucumber Salad

beef, stomach, tendonFu Ji Fei Pian – Sliced Roast Beef, Stomach, and Tendon with Chili Sauce

soupChicken and Guo Ba (Crispy Rice) Soup

sichuan chickenChongQing La Zi Chicken – Sichuan -Style Fried Chicken

dumplingsHand Made Pork and Cabbage Dumplings

fish fillet“Feng Bao La Zi Yu” (literally Typhoon of Spicy Fried Fish)

cumin lambCumin Lamb

pork ribsSalt and Pepper Pork Ribs

steamed buns“Shui Jin Bao” (literally Water Pan Fried Pork Bun)

dessert“Yin Er Lian Zi Tang” – Sweet Lotus Seed with White Woodear mushroom soup (almost like a health tonic as it’s good for digestion and skin, and overall refreshes your chi with yin energy)

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