Last week Student Wire hit London Town and just so happened to be invited down to Fu Manchu, a restaurant based right next to Clapham North tube station in South West London, to see for ourselves all that it had to offer.
Based under the arches of a bridge, upon arriving at the venue it was clear that it was a pretty cool place. On entering we were greeted by friendly staff, dim lighting and laid back music; all in all making for the perfect ambience.
The restaurant itself is pretty large and we were told that on a Friday and Saturday it gets pretty busy, with the resident DJ pumping out the tunes and cocktails in full flow. However, as it was a Monday (not Friday yet – sigh!) we made our way to our table, eager to discover more about what food we would be enjoying.
Fu Manchu is a Dim Sum restaurant and for those of you that are unfamiliar and yet to try, Dim Sum is a style of Cantonese cuisine. It is prepared in to small bite size portions, most often served in a small steamer basket. In simple terms, it looks a bit like a small dumpling.
Don’t let our awful description put you off…it’s definitely a must-try! The waitress kindly guided us through the menu, including the extensive cocktail menu which could have you ordering cocktails for days, recommending we order around four small dishes each.
First things first, cocktail order at the ready. We opted for the Lotus Juice Sling, a vodka concoction with white wine and grapes served in a steel tanker, and secondly, a Cherry Blossom Martini, a sweet cherry delight with a slight asian twist as the gin and cherry liquor were shaken with a coconut cream. Both were absolutely amazing, so much so they were gone before the food arrived. That calls for a second!
If the drinks were anything to go by, we were certainly in for a treat with the food.
Food wise we opted for a nice selection, this included a mix of steamed dumplings, fried and baked dishes and a salad dish. A Student Wire favourite had to be the ‘Cha Sui Bao’, a BBQ pork filled steam bun which was like nothing you’d ever tasted before.
A close second in the favourites game had to be the ‘Hot & Sour Rare Beef Salad’. So simple, yet so tasty. Hard to believe a salad was one of the highlights but this was definitely a salad to be reckoned with.
As well as the traditional dim sum steamed dumplings, we also opted for some more familiar dishes such as the spring rolls (Jai Cheun Gyun) and the chilli squid (Jiua Yim Sin Yau). All completely authentic and each dish as nice as the next!
Finally after picking our way through all eight dishes, we were full. Or at least we were until the waitress offered us the dessert menu. I mean it would be rude not to look, right?
Oh and what do you know, we decided we could squeeze in a little one in. Arm well and truly twisted. We decided to go for something a little different and ordered the ‘Jin Deui’ – sesame balls stuffed with custard.
What a perfect end to the perfect meal. Just the right amount of sweetness in a little ball, helping to satisfy that sweet tooth with out leaving you overly full.
If we could summarise our experience at Fu Manchu in one word, it would have to be ‘amazing’. Amazing food, amazing drinks, amazing staff, amazing venue. A pleasant surprise, in an unlikely location.
We’ll certainly be back again Dr. Fu – next time on a Friday for more of those cocktails please!