The Supper Club: Neither supper nor club

The Supper Club, tucked away in a corner of the Fairmont Nile City Hotel lobby, has very little supper to speak of. It also isn’t a club, as anyone can attend and it requires no membership.

Within the pages of its puffy, furry menu lie approximately 13 choices of semi-fusion, semi-Asian, expensive dishes, which, apparently, can all be eaten with chopsticks. Traditionally, a "supper club" is a dining venue with music and fabulous food. Supper clubs tend to be exclusive simply because they are known and shared by a particular niche community–sometimes so exclusive they are considered "underground"–but not because the food and drinks are overpriced.

The Supper Club at the Fairmont follows a different supper club creed. Part of the lobby’s Onyx Lounge, the Supper Club features a live lounge singer and pianist Sunday to Wednesday from 9 to 11 PM. The tables are set up in a very modern–and frankly uncomfortable–style that forces one to lean precariously over the table and scrunch up her legs to reach the food. Neither a place for family nor a set up for fine dining, the Supper Club is more like a place where you happen to end up while waiting for someone to come down from their room at the Fairmont and then end up staying because you’re squashed in the couch, to lazy to get up.

The evening of our visit, the venue was relatively busy. "It’s not usually very crowded," explained Sarah, an employee at the Nile City Tower Mall and a frequent visitor to the Supper Club, between sips of her champagne cocktail. Although she likes the place, she has never dined there. "I come here to make my phone calls and unwind after work," she said.

Eating supper at the Supper Club is something that should only happen by chance, for example if you are chatting over a glass of champagne (yes, I think some people do that casually) and you realize you are hungry. You cannot come to to the Supper Club for supper. It’s just too disappointing.

On the other hand, the dishes that were ordered and the food that actually made it into our mouths via the slippery chopsticks was fabulous. California rolls covered in green caviar were filled with salmon (the crab that was supposed to be in the rolls was "unavailable" that evening) and were rather yummy. The Duck Rolls are very nice–filo-paper-enclosed peppers with a slight amount of duck and just enough decorative hoisin sauce to dip each roll. The smoked salmon rolls are just as described: three rolls filled with a generous helping of cream cheese, capers and dill. I guess anything can be rolled if you put your mind to it.

While you munch, Carrie Gibson, a vocalist imported from New Orleans, belts out her renditions of lounge favorites, accompanied by a pianist.

If we hadn’t been so intent on eating supper, the experience might have been rather lovely. The service was pleasant, graceful and professional and the champagne cocktails, despite their daunting price, were fantastic.

If you find yourself, by chance, in the Fairmont Nile City lobby, and want a cocktail and are tempted to have a little bite then I highly recommend the Supper Club. If you want supper, go somewhere else.

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