Sunday, July 5, 2009
Dim Sum Day 4: Man Fu Yuan
I guess it's safe to blog about dim sum again, without anyone suffering overload from the dim sum marathon organised by Cuisine & Wine Asia. We continue with Day 4, at Man Fu Yuan of Hotel InterContinental. I'd heard good things about the food here, and I was not disappointed.
First up - they have the elusive dim sum called "Harm Soei Gok" - Deep-fried traditional chicken dumpling. The best I've ever had too - the glutinous rice skin is evenly thin, and the savoury filling is a harmony of chicken, mushroom and chives.
Surrounded! Is the tiny flower fearful? It need not be. We polished off the plump dumplings in a flash. Yum yum. Speaking of which, we need to bring Aromacookery here. It was a pity she could not attend this session.
Deep-fried yam croquette with minced duck. So light and delicate the lacy batter. Yam puffs or wu kok are an old favourite of mine, so I liked this too.
I detected a most delicious buttery or dairy-like flavour in the deep-fried filo dough. Patrick, the friendly restaurant manager beams and tells me they use cheese for a twist. Wow, instant winner with me (hey, look, even my blog is named after a cheese!). Incidentally, quite a few restaurants have started using filo instead of vermicelli to wrap this dim sum. It makes finer and crispier strands.
Deep-fried scallops with sugar cane - a touch of Vietnamese. Of course, it's a prawn-scallop paste moulded onto the sugar cane sticks. Fragrant and tasty.
Baked fluffy skin pie with chicken and mango - oh, the buttery crust!
Water chestnut cake is normally served pan-fried, but this is battered and deep-fried. So you get to play with more textures - crispy on the outside, and softly chewy on the inside.
Most rice flour rolls have the skins made/steamed first, and fillings added later. Man Fu Yuan has a Special Cheong Fun - where the filling is steamed together with the rice flour skin and then all scraped off together. Is there a difference? Well, I just liked the generous char siew embedded within the rolls, and the messy presentation actually made it more fun to eat.
They also have the normal rice flour rolls in three varieties - BBQ pork & parsley, prawn & yellow chives, scallop & water chestnut.
Phoenix eye dumpling - I liked the fiery bite provided by the "eye", that slice of chili adorning the medley of mushrooms and vegetables.
Juicy dumpling with foie gras - this is Xiao Long Bao with a western touch. Just a little touch, because we could not detect much goose liver in it. Maybe it's for the better, as the dumpling was fine on its own.
Har gau - the must-have steamed prawn dumpling. Here they are large, fresh and juicy. No fancy extras or innovative ingredients, just well-executed traditional har gau.
The Siew Mai or Minced pork dumpling with scallop. Decent dumplings topped with a thin slice of scallop, plus decorative parsley and shredded carrot for colour.
Scallop dumpling with pea shoot - yes, with the other shrimp-based dim sum, they get to "reinvent" the har gau. The dollop of dou miao (pea shoots) in this one is quite strong tasting though.
Vegetarian dumpling - tasty treats and a great way to eat your vegetables!
Pan-fried radish cake - aha! Finally, really charred radish cake! I wish more restaurants would fry it this way.
And if you're still hungry after all that, go for the "Mini pot rice with chicken", which in itself is a full meal with chicken chunks, Chinese sausage, mushrooms, wolfberries and good rice that's steamed just right. Enjoy it with the special sauce it's served with.
We dined at the semi-private dining area, which made a huge difference to the atmosphere. I brought my family back a few weeks later, and we tried the open dining space. You can also choose the private dining rooms, at a small cost.
If you haven't been to Man Fu Yuan, it may be a little hard to find at first. You can access it by stairs (near entrance from Bugis Junction) or by elevator (near hotel lobby). The elderly and disabled would probably benefit from the latter.
Warmest thanks to Sharon and Patrick for being such wonderful hosts, and to Cuisine & Wine Asia for arranging this.
MAN FU YUAN
2nd Floor, Hotel InterContinental
80 Middle Road
Lunch 11 am - 2.15 pm
Dinner 6 pm - 10.30 pm
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