Chef CJ’s Extraordinary Dumplings

While Denver I Love isn’t a food blog per se, it is a place to highlight extraordinary things and people in Denver.  Chef CJ and his dumplings ARE just that: extraordinary!  When we stumbled into Fortune Wok to Table for a quick lunch, no sooner had Miss Li greeted us with a bright smile and a story to tell, that we knew it needed a spot on the blog!

Owner and Executive Chef CJ

Meeting Chef CJ, full of graciousness and a passion for cooking, set the tone for the perfect meal. Prior to immigrating to America, Chef CJ gained valuable experience as a chef preparing special meals for dignitaries in Shanghai. He opened his Cherry Creek North restaurant a year and a half ago and greets customers with a personality as authentic as his food!

Fortune Wok to Table is Small but Mighty

The tiny restaurant brings big flavors and an extraordinary dining experience to Denver.  It is located in the middle of the block on 3rd Avenue between Detroit and Fillmore where Osaka Ramen was last.

The thoughtful menu, like the restaurant itself, is small and packs a big punch!  All dishes are made from scratch using the freshest ingredients to embody the flavors of true Shanghai cuisine.  His concept is to offer a few dishes done extraordinarily well.

Chef CJ’s Extraordinary Dumplings and Noodles

Chef CJ's extraordinary dumplings
Chef CJ’s extraordinary dumplings

The lunch menu is simple but far from ordinary.  There are basically two things: noodles and dumplings.  The noodles are Shanghai street style and come either with broth or stir fried.  For the protein you choose different proteins like steak, pork rib, duck, shrimp and tofu.  Gluten free noodles are available.

Hand made dumplings also come two ways: either pan fried or steamed.   If you want to try all the dumplings bring more than one friend.  You can’t mix the proteins in the 7 piece orders.

Fast Service, Fresh Ingredients, Gluten Free and Vegetarian Options

If you don’t have a lot of time to spare, Chef CJ’s extraordinary dumplings and noodles come out super fast,  fresh and prepared to perfection.  Chef CJ is committed to giving his customers a real Shanghai style meal, and he has the culinary expertise to delivery it.

What’s for Dinner: Authentic Shanghai Style Halibut and A Few Special Entrees

The dinner menu is similarly small with just a few thoughtfully selected dishes to chose from on any given night.  Entrees are sized for two, so even the limited menu leaves you needing to come back for more.  Li explains, “there are only 7 choices but every one of them is special.”

For example, Li says, the halibut is made, not in butter,  but in ginger, onions and special seasonings. Chef CJ changes his upstairs menu seasonally to keep the choices fresh and exciting The crowd favorite prawns stay on year round.

Dinner is served in the upstairs dining room to create a more formal fine dining experience.  With only 4 tables you need to make a reservation in advance.  Reservations can be made on Open Table.

Special Menu for the Chinese New Year

Jasmine tea in an authentic China tea cup with a hole on the bottom

Throughout the year, Chef CJ offers special event menus like the one coming up for the Chinese New Year.  For 5 nights only, February 5th to 10th there some extra dishes made just that week, including a specially prepared whole sea bass.  The sea bass is prepared in spices that burst with flavor in honor of the New Year!

The Year of the Pig

Li says in Chinese culture, the pig is seen as honest and trustworthy and that the Year of the Pig means a “very fortunate” year ahead!  We feel fortunate already and can’t wait to come back again.

 

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