The Menu in a scroll
Ning carrying a lantern
Ban Hai Dai: seaweed salad.
Song Ru and the vegetarian Su Song Ru: fried Chinese five spice Chinese beef and fried vegetarian cake, both wrapped in cripsy tofu skin.
Rou Bao Zi: pork buns and Su Bao Zi: vegetarian buns.
Tang Yuan: sweet sticky rice balls in syrup.
Mama Lan is a Chinese supperclub just up the road from me in Cricklewood. I’m so glad supperclubs are coming to North West London, we can’t let East London hog them all!
It’s a little complicated to get there, not being near a tube. The nearest transport is Cricklewood Thameslink train station. Driving is probably the best method, hence less of an emphasis on drinking alcohol said Ning, Mama Lan’s daughter.
No mind, we were served a refreshing non-alcoholic cocktail and I’d brought a beer, a good match with Chinese food. Tonight was all about dumplings; Mama Lan even gave us a demonstration of how to make these, encouraging us to try our hand too.
The flat is incredibly clean and neat and the bathroom sparkled. The living room, where 7 of us ate, was atmospherically decorated to celebrate the 15th day anniversary ‘Lantern festival‘ after the Chinese New Year.
Supperclubs are a great opportunity to peek behind the kitchen curtain and eat in homes to which we may not usually get invited. It was a treat to eat authentic mother’s Northern Chinese food, served family style. Mama Lan comes from a catering family; they sold street food in Beijing and her husband was a chef that cooked for Chinese VIPs. Ning told me that the supperclub has been a psychological boon for her mother who, suffering from empty nest syndrome, now has others to cook for.
Mama Lan sitting quietly on the sofa afterwards reading through a Western recipe book as the youngsters chatted around her.
£20 a head plus tip