Food & Drink Wednesday, April 11th , pictures by: Tile pic by Herefordshire Live/Emma Pugh

Here's a glossary for Secret Dumpling Club's jaw-dropping new menu

Food & Drink Wednesday, April 11th

Here's a glossary for Secret Dumpling Club's jaw-dropping new menu

I’m yet to meet anyone who doesn’t like dumplings. Actually, that’s not true. My Grandad hated them – but dumplings to him were these chewy balls of fat and flour that bobbed around in your stew and got you through the war.

The ‘dumplings’ that made the Secret Dumpling Club famous are not those dumplings.

Cloud-like bao buns, or little artful parcels stuffed with the kind of Eastern flavours that could only have arrived in Hereford on the backs of animé dragons, they are at once fresh and indulgent, light in your mouth and at the same time, hit your stomach with the good kind of heaviness that only great Asian food seems to manage.

This Monday, the chefs behind the pop-up dining club are rolling out their most ambitious menu to date - and it looks jaw-droppingly good.

But like most truly interesting menus, there were a few words on there which had us nodding wistfully before opening up our Google Translate app - which is why we got SDC to give us a quick rundown of some of some of the more unusual ingredients and dishes on offer at the Bookshop next week.


Check out the glossary below. It will undoubtedly get your juices running, and on Monday, when the people next to you ask what Dragon’s Beard is, you can confidently blag your way through your answer like you don’t order Sweet ‘n’ Sour Chicken every time you get a takeaway. Just don’t be too smug about it.

(For more info on Monday's banquet, and to buy tickets, click here.)


The Official Secret Dumpling Club Glossary:


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"Takoyaki are a Japanese Street food, literally “octopus doughnuts”, they’ve got a crispy outside and a creamy inside, and right in the centre we’ve swapped the traditional octopus for smoked Cornish scallop." 


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"Mooli is like a big radish. If you’ve ever seen Spirited Away, the Radish Spirit is a huge anthropomorphic mooli! They look just like him, but without the face." 


"A Beggar's Chicken is a traditional Chinese peasants dish, which became the centrepiece of any celebratory meal. It’s a whole bird, stuffed with rice, wrapped in leaves and baked in clay. Ours aren’t baked in clay, because we borrow a kitchen and no one wants to do THAT clean-down, but we do stuff them with glutinous rice, wind dried chinese bacon, black beans and our own cured duck egg yolk.


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"In China, fried buns dipped in condensed milk are kind of a big deal, and we can see why.

"We were working on a Vietnamese coffee affogato recipe, with a condensed milk ice cream and a shot of espresso over the top – and then inspiration hit! Let’s do this ice cream with fried buns, and melt it with an affogato - but the coffee didn’t work, so we paired matcha green tea latte with a blood orange flavour in the buns, and it was great!"


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"Dragons Beard is another street food. It’s basically a hand-pulled candyfloss, made the way noodles are made by stretching and twisting a ring of sugar until you end up with the traditional “ten thousand strings”.

"Jake found a video online of three men singing a choreographed song as they made one, and we had to learn it. It’s pretty noisy in the kitchen when it happens. We wrap it around a palate cleansing sorbet ball made from that ubiquitous pink pickled ginger."


Head here to grab your tickets for Monday's banquet. At the time of writing there are only a limited number left, so get in there quick.

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