Above: The turbo power dish - Stir fried crab with sticky rice. If the awesomeness of this dish doesn't make you fall over backwards before eating it, the enormity of it will afterwards.
Were you a teenager in the 90s? Remember that arcade game Mortal Kombat? This supperclub dinner was like that.
Cherry of FedbyTang Hongkong Supperclub, versus Creatures of the Deep.
And in the notoriously little-room-for-error genre that is Chinese-style seafood, Cherry scored a FLAWLESS VICTORY.
Above: Battle gear.
Cherry was cooking up a seafood dinner this particular evening partly because there was a pescetarian friend at the table who she'd been meaning to host for ages. But it's hard for a Chinese person to resist pork completely. So to warm up, we had deep fried tofu with bits of crispy pig skin. Who says tofu has to be virtuous, eh?
Prawn toast is a popular starter snack at Cantonese takeaways. This evening Cherry served it old school Hong Kong style, the way she ate it growing up. Prawn paste slathered on white toast, coated in breadcrumbs and deep fried. And garnished with a whole deep fried prawn head. This could totally work as a bar snack at St John or Wright Brothers or Elliots Cafe, or The Clove Club, whenever it is they catch on. A girl can hope.
Succulent steamed scallops, dressed in garlic, soya sauce, sesame oil and coriander. An indulgent favourite in Chinese seafood banquet halls. Much more affordable here in London if you use local scallops. Bliss inducing!
Spicy stir fried razor clams. Another luxury dish in Asia, again much more afforable here if you use UK razors. Half a minute too long on the fire and these can make you feel like you're chewing on a rubber hose. Cherry timed her frying time perfectly. I heard from our lovely front of house Phoebe later that Cherry had different timers on the go in the kitchen throughout the evening, to keep her bang on time. Stressful (I heard Cherry calling out to Phoebe to hustle out of the dining room a few times this evening to help out in the kitchen) but what a great result!
Steamed seabass with soya sauce and sesame oil, garnished with ginger slivers and spring onion. Again, so little room for error on this dish. The fish must be very fresh and you have to judge the steaming time according to the weight of the fish. I still don't have the guts to make this dish for a dinner party. Cherry had the guts. And the glory.
Stir fried squid with snow pea and carrots. I think just a touch more salt would have really lifted this dish but the textures were bang on. Bouncy and crunchy right where they needed to be.
And now we come to that bit in the battle where your power bar is fully charged, and it's time to unleash your secret-combi-attack.
Behold! Cherry's stir fried crab, sat upon glutinous rice cooked in sweet-savoury crab stock. KNOCKOUT! Apologies to my dining companions - pretty sure I scarfed an unfair share of this magnificent dish.
And finally a glee-inducing dessert. The result of Cherry's recent waffle iron acquisition. A popular streetsnack from growing up in Hong Kong, she said. For me it brought back many happy memories as twentysomething gallavanting around New York City. There was just such an egg waffle vendor, unfailingly on Canal St just before you headed south into the guts of New York's Chinatown. The warm scent of the sweet eggy liquidy mix taking shape on the hot irons never failed to lift my mood, and it served as the perfect nightcap now.
All this for an unbelieveable £30! Whenever it is that Cherry decides to do another seafood banquet, I can't recommend it enough that you go. Meanwhile, Cherry's next supperclub is an Indian-Chinese collaboration with Asma of Darjeeling Express on 11 May 2013. Check out their double-trouble menu, and grab the last few seats!
Disclosure: I'm the founder of Edible Experiences, and provide marketing and ticketing services for both FedbyTang and Darjeeling Express. I attended this event as a paying customer. Click on the logo below to see upcoming events by FedbyTang.