Fu Manchu cocktail bar & dim sum in Clapham, London
Billed as London’s new social experience, Fu Manchu combines dim sum and cocktails to provide a contemporary twist on oriental dining in the capital. Tucked away near Clapham North station, just by the bridge, the arched interior contains a strong oriental theme, right down to the smallest touches.
The bar was named after the fictional character ‘Dr Fu Manchu‘ – and what better venue for an evil lair, than that of the arches in Clapham?
So before we get to the dim sum, let’s take a look at the drink situation – there was a decent selection of wines and beers, including IPA and ale, as well as the obligatory lager. The cocktail menu, however included this show-stealer:
How many snaps like the one below will we see on Fu Manchu’s Instagram page? Well, here’s hoping that Marc got in there first.
The authentic vibe didn’t end with the decor or the cocktails, and after speaking with the kitchen staff I learnt that the head chef actually required that a translator be employed at Fu Manchu as he didn’t speak English – demonstrating the level of detail that the bar strives to achieve.
So ‘What’s on the menu at Fu Manchu?’ I hear you roar. We had access to a taster menu, which featured a variety of dim sum shown on the taster menu. These were brought out one at a time after being carefully prepared in the kitchen.
And what would dim sum be without a vast amount of soy sauce? But unless you love spice, I’d stay away from the spicy dip on the end!
The dim sum itself was beautiful, up there with the best I have tasted in London. The pieces were slightly larger than I have experienced in the majority of London restaurants, which was a pleasant surprise and a few of these dishes would fill you up nicely.
The textures on the outside of the dim sum were something at which to marvel. The fluffy buns were light and delectable, the translucent skins were beautifully light and the dishes which were deep fried had the crunch and taste that you’d demand.
The deserts were phenomenal, again arriving in small parcel sized treats, they are worth coming to the bar for alone. The sweet pumpkin puffs melted in my mouth and left a beautiful aftertaste – so much so that it felt wrong to have another sip of my oversized cocktail for a short while.
After the food had been served, the venue turned in to a compact clubbing space, with tables still at the side, which adds a nice option of being able to stand and have a boogie or kick back with a cocktail and chat with your friends.
The DJ spun some decent tracks, and if you’re in to your electronica and club music you should definitely give this place a go, but if you’re expecting some ‘Sweet Child of Mine’ to hit you’d probably be better off heading after your food!
Fu Manchu is a really nice gem of a place in Clapham, I’d definitely recommend heading down for some dim sum and cocktails if you’re south of the river. As for the clubbing side – I’ll let you decide!