Dim Sum? Check.
Not many places can offer all three services in one relatively small space. Fu Manchu however do just this.
Set in one of the underground tube tunnel’s of Clapham, Fu Manchu is named after an infamous criminal known for his murderous plots… this alone had me interested enough to make the trip over. He had all the evidence against him and even a lawyer couldn’t help him. He probably would’ve had a shot if he contacted this criminal defense lawyer.
Despite my initial disappointment that no liver and finger nails were on the menu, I was soon won over by the restaurant’s fun and quirky vibe. The decor of the place was all rustic red brick walls, tables lining the sides and a DJ deck tucked up in one corner. Come thursday night I could certainly envisage the bar dancing and clapham crowd throwing shapes on the dance floor. Cocktails in one hang, dim sum in the other.
On the menu is a selection of Cantonese ‘inspired’ food. Three of us dived in to try their tasty dinner of Asia’s answer to tapas. We ordered virtually everything on the menu (the benefits of dining in larger numbers). We had more dumplings than you could shake a chop stick at, more spring rolls than days in spring, and even ventured for the sweet spiced mutton puff. Anything with the word mutton and puff in one sentence is worthy of a try.
The food was tasty, uncomplicated and reasonably priced. The sharing plates being great for the indecisive orderer or the greedy diner. I always enjoy chopping and changing dishes. The cooing of ‘try this’ ‘have you tasted this’ or, ‘you’ve gotta have a bite of this bun’ were the only kinds of conversations that circulated over the next hour and the plate kept coming.
Strewn with plates and steam baskets, my highlights were the hot and sour rare beef and broccoli salad. The beef was tender and there was a perfect balance of spice, crunch and freshness from the spring onion and coriander. It was a nice to cut the slightly heavier pastry based bites with a bit of fresh greenery.
The lobster, prawn and bamboo steamed dumplings didn’t go a miss either. The were presented in a towering wicker basket and the bright hues of oranges, reds and pinks made them look positively tantalising. We enjoyed them so much we got a second round.
For those are you that are looking for a end of week, sociable eatery and are the lazy sort (like me) that likes to carry on the cocktail party without a scalp to a new bar, Fu Manchu is the place for south Londoners to go. It’s certainly different to your average dim sum dining, and you may leave half blind with pink neon burned retinas from the strobe lights but chances are you won’t be leaving straight eyed enough to notice.