August marks the 7th Month in the Chinese Lunar calendar where the Gates of Hell open and Hungry Ghosts roam the mortal world, seeking a place to feed their empty bellies. There are multiple rituals that accompany this Chinese tradition of seeking "approval" from dieties and spirits of the former living. It is in a sense a Chinese "All Souls Month" as joss-sticks are lit, prayer paper is burnt in remembrance of loved ones no longer with us. A large part of the occasion involves offering food to appease finicky ghosts.
That's where we come in. Two Hungry Girls were invited by our talented friends at Platform 65 to host a never-seen-before pop-up at a beautiful Marylebone townhouse for the Hungry Ghost Festival. A script regaling stories of Gods, Ghosts and Ancestors was performed by Cui & Ming, who also took guests on a tour around the house explaining the traditions and superstitions of this feast.
So whilst our guests were being treated to a spooky performance, THG worked on specially designed dishes to suit the event::
Complimentary Lychee Liqueur Shooter
Chilled Silken Tofu with Century Egg & Black Sesame Sauce
Samsui Poached Chicken with Spring Onion & Ginger Sauce
to be wrapped in crisp lettuce leaves
Chinese Style Roast Pork with Pickled Cucumber
Steamed Gourd stuffed with Minced Pork
*Gressingham Duck Mantou Buns with Green Apple
of Broccoli, Lotus Root, Water Chestnut & Wood Ear Mushroom
Lemongrass Sambal Fried Fish
Hokkien Style Sticky Rice
with Chinese Sausage, Crispy Shallots, Chilli & Peanuts
Lychee & Coconut Sundae
Fresh Lychees & Raspberries, Coconut Ice Cream, Toasted Coconut & Biscuit, Lychee Cream
Banana Fritters with Lime Creme Anglaise
We were thrilled and fortunate to be sponsored by *Gressingham Ducks for this event, who to our minds (and tummies) are the finest breed of UK duck there is. We flavour our duck legs with Sichuan Peppercorns & Chinese 5 Spice Powder and then cook the duck legs in a confit style. The tender meat is placed into fluffy mantou buns (those that are all the rage now a la Momofuku) and a green apple added for tangy bite.
Judging from the immense buzz coming from the dining room and the empty plates we reckoned guests (and ghosts!) thoroughly enjoyed their evening! Big thank yous to Platform 65 who without their talent & creativity we'd never be able to do an event like this, Wen from Edible Experiences who climbed endless flights of stairs to make sure Front Of House ran fantastically, Sarah (an events guru who got the job done!) and Goz of +65 plusixfive supperclub who always cheers us up and was a huge help.
We will be featuring more of Gressingham on our menus at the next supperclub September 22nd, so watch out for THG and their ducky antics! This supper will be held in aid of Action Against Hunger and is part of their Supperheroes campaign, where 19 London supperclubs join forces in the fight against global hunger. Ambitious, but you gotta start somewhere.
Follow this link for photos from our Hungry Ghost Supper! Hungry Ghosts Supper poster credit to Cui Yin Mok @ Platform 65.