Take twenty or so random strangers, one mystery location, and a chef with the freedom to cook outside of their regular kitchen, and hey presto - Shanghai Supper Club. Conceived by Shanghai local Camden Hauge, the Shanghai Supper Club has been a resounding success since the minute it opened back in 2013.
Camden observed Shanghai's obsession with food first hand and knew it was ripe for a supper club concept. There was a rapidly evolving food scene with new chefs arriving from all over the world, and a food-loving population hungry for novel experiences.
With a menu and venue that changes every month, the real success of her venture has been in bringing together Shanghai's food-lovers in one place, a situation ripe for new collaborations and exciting ideas.
I was lucky enough to have a seat at a Supper Club event last weekend, ending a week of near perfect weather - warm days edging into summer with cool nights.
We met on the terrace of an old Shanghai house off Ferguson Lane, now belonging to Pudao Wines. The terrace was set with bouquets of English roses and strung with fairy lights.
Chef for the night was James Stockdale of The British Kitchen. James is a baker of renown, supplying delicious cakes, tarts, pastries and slices to some of Shanghai's best cafes, whilst also working as an architect. He cooked us an inspiring British menu, starting with his take on the Ulster fry - vodka -infused vine tomatoes, mushrooms and eggs, and beans on toast.
Also on hand was Manuel from Summergate Wines who mixed tea-inspired cocktails to begin and end the evening.
Between courses we topped up our wines from the highly space-age enomatic wine dispensing machine downstairs, meaning you could try a glass or a taste of any of sixteen premium wines. Brilliant!
Supper Club is like a dinner party with old friends you just haven't seen in a long time, where your only job is to relax and enjoy the feast!
Shanghai Supper Club
Held monthly. When the next Supper Club is announced, register and wait to hear if you've nabbed a seat - if so you can bring along one guest.
June's Supper Club has just been announced and promises to be insanely good - Spanish chef Willy of El Willy fame is cooking at the Zotter Chocolate Theatre, a Wonka-esque shrine to the art of Austrian chocolate. Get yourself a seat!