I’m a fan of pop-up restaurants, ever since I tried Whisk in Boston – see my post here. The pop-up concept is all about different settings, very passionate young chefs, and a unique theme. On Labor Day, my foodie friends and I were very excited about dining at the newest pop-up in Boston, The Spotted Tiger. The location? The swanky Hawthorne bar in Kenmore Square. The Chefs? Tracy Chang of Guchi’s Midnight Ramen pop-up, Ran Duan of Sichuan Garden in Woburn, and Becca Arnold of Tavern Road in Boston. The theme? Chinese cuisine and handcrafted cocktails. By the way, The Hawthorne won Best Hotel Bar 2013 in Boston Magazine.
We tried the six-course tasting with beverage pairings (see photo of menus above). Unfortunately, I do not have photos of each course, but will let you know what my favorites were. The best cocktails were the Welcome Punch and Tiger Blood (not really tiger blood, of course) – both were refreshing, light, and well mixed. A couple drinks were served as shots, which came with an unwanted alcohol sting. As for the courses, while they were all delicious, I would definitely like to eat more of the garlic chicken wings, the cooling noodles (The Spotter Tiger’s version of traditional Chinese dandan mian), and the pork belly fried rice (photo below). These dishes were packed with flavor and had great texture, especially the pork belly, which melted in my mouth.
First course: tuna tartare served on black sesame taro(?) chips, paired with “Domo Arigato” cocktail.
Fifth course: “Chairman Meow” (fried rice with braised pork belly), paired with “Strange Love” cocktail.
Final course (dessert): almond tofu pudding & house-made passion fruit caramel candy, paired with “Carrier Flip” and “Moto Guzzi #2” cocktails.
I enjoyed this particular pop-up dinner because the collaborating chefs took traditional Chinese food and ingredients to a whole new level, incorporating flavors from different regions of China. I would also like to try the restaurants where these chefs are from. If you’re interested in tasting the creations of The Spotted Tiger chefs, be on the lookout for the next pop-up!