Jane Guo, owner of Jane G’s, the popular Szechuan Chinese restaurant in Rittenhouse Square made her COOK debut this week. A hands on wonton-making lesson from Jane herself and some powerful cocktails from her partner Nick Brozek made this class a hit. Fresh off having the legendary Samuel L. Jackson eat at Jane G’s, Jane excitedly prepared some of the dishes that he loved from the restaurant. After experiencing Jane’s charm and cuisine, one can understand why Samuel L. Jackson is such a fan! Here’s what Jane and Nick dished out.
First, Jane started off with a traditional staple – wonton soup. The simple, savory soup consisted of chicken broth, scallions, and pork wontons. Jane invited guests to come into the kitchen to learn how to properly fold a wonton. Step one, a small spoonful of pork goes in the middle of the wonton wrapper.
Step two, use a knife to fold the first corner over the pork. Step three, wet the knife and dampen one end of the wrapper. Step four, fold the end in on themselves to the middle while simultaneously pressing the pork inward. Viola! A wonton has been born! Paired with the wonton soup was Nick’s first cocktail, Thyme Lord, featuring chamomile tea and homemade thyme syrup. The gentle floral notes from the tea and thyme contrasted well with the savory broth and pork.
For the second course, Jane proudly served the salad that Mr. Samuel Jackson loved so much that he ordered it twice. This fresh, slightly sweet course was a refreshing change from the salty soup and was paired with Nick’s take on a classic gin and tonic. The cocktail, named Crown’s Colony, was a mix of Bluebird gin, organic tonic, lime, and club soda. The organic tonic made a noticeable difference and Nick was happy to state that this beverage is a great hangover cure.
Next, Jane showcased a Jane G favorite, dan dan Noodles. This dish was complex in flavor, due to the combination of three different delectable sauces. Shanghai egg noodles were tossed in chili oil, peanut sesame sauce and soy sauce. The minced pickled beef on top absorbed the sauces and picked up so much flavor.
As if this wonderful dish was not enough, Nick showed off his personal favorite cocktail dubbed All In The Reflexes. This beverage exemplifies Nick’s belief in using local ingredients. The liquor base Eight Oaks Applejack is a Pennsylvania creation and it’s as old as America itself. Applejack is essentially the liquor version of apple cider. Nick then adds Aperol and citrus for a nice orange profile. Topped with apple cider, this beverage is an apple lover’s delight with a great citrus aftertaste. Nick noted that this is a dangerous drink, its very flavorful and easy to drink… but its also the “booziest” drink he made.
Lastly, Jane gave guests a dish that was made with so much care that it was braised all day and hand delivered to COOK for the finale. Lamb with spicy black bean sauce made for a delicious conclusion to dinner (another Samuel L. Jackson fave, by the way). And what better way to end the meal than a simple cocktail: Bluecoat gin, blackberry shrub and lemon. While Nick claimed this is the most straight-forward drink on the menu, sometimes a simple approach is the best. This cocktail, Young and Dangerous, gets its name from a Hong Kong crime film from the 90’s. Fun fact: all of Nick’s beverages are named after kung-fu or sci-fi movies. If you can tell Nick which movie the drink is named after you’ll earn his respect, and maybe even a free drink…
We couldn’t be more thrilled with Jane and Nick’s dinner. Authentic Chinese food and expertly crafted cocktails are a match made in heaven. Trust us, go check out these dishes and drinks at Jane G’s in Center City (1930 Chestnut Street). Also check out Jane’s other, new restaurant in University City, Dim Sum House by Jane G’s (3939 Chestnut Street). Tell them COOK sent you!Back to Blog