Ginseng.

Like many large clubs, the Woden Hellenic Club as a few different restaurants. There’s the Bistro, for a simple and family-friendly roast dinner; the Trattoria, for pretty good Italian food, and the Taverna, for Greek food, which does not interest me. Our destination on this blustery evening was Ginseng, the Chinese restaurant. Chinese food in a Greek club? You bet, and pretty darn tasty it was.

We started off with Kirin draught beer and soup: short for the Mr. and long for me. Both featured rich, obviously homemade and extremely chickeny broths that soothed us nicely.

honeypepperbeefMain dish #1 was honey-pepper fillet steak. Unlike most versions of this dish at lesser restaurants, this iteration had detectable honey rather than sugar, and the pepper did not overwhelm. The steak was meltingly tender and richly flavored.

Main #2 was something unique in my experience: garlic pork chops. See the photo below? Yes, those little bits are chunks of sizzling crispy garlic. I can say with certainty, that no Italian nonna, no Provençal grand-mère, has ever produced a dish as  primally garlicky as this. It begins with the aroma of garlic wafting up at you, and it seduces you through every bite of the slightly fatty pork. It’s worth the smelly burps later on, in spades. (Mind you, if anyone said that I, like the Grinch, had “garlic in my soul“, I’d take it as a great compliment.)
garlic pork

 

The Hellenic Club is open to members only. Join up, it’s a good deal.

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4 comments

  1. cabrogal

    Last night I had a horrendous culinary experience at a newly opened local Chinese. Even by Newcastle standards it was a shocker – so bad and such a contrast to the flyer blurb it was pretty goddamned funny.

    I was tempted to blog my first restaurant review in response, but these guys were so hopeless I just didn’t have the heart to sink the boot in.

    Sure wish I’d had those garlic chops instead.

    • Sasha

      Good Chinese food is one of the glories of life, but bad Chinese is truly hideous. Sorry you had a bad meal.
      If you’re planning to write about food in the future, get your site checked by Urbanspoon. Good exposure.
      Man, I stink.

  2. tarnishedsophia

    Sasha, that sounds heavenly. I love garlic as well, and am planning on going to the Garlic Festival in October in a town about 40min away from me. Oh, and if you’re ever back in the Rhinebeck, NY area…visit Terrapin Restaurant for their garlic soup!

    • Sasha

      TS, you had me at “Garlic Festival”. I can’t remember where Rhinebeck is, but I do sometimes make it up to Sullivan County where my folks have a place. (Callicoon, to be exact.) If my budget allowed for more than one yearly trip I’d so go there! Unfortunately roundtrip airfare is in the $1400 range per person, so it’s not a journey I can take on a whim. 😦 Not to mention I’d likely be a nuisance to my fellow passengers. Would you want to sit next to me for 15 hours after I’d been to a garlic festival? LOL.

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