10 February 2011

Fu Manchu: Chinese, Darlinghurst (3 Dec 2009)

249 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst NSW 2010

Dumplings til late

You'll always know when I've visited a place by the date I put in the title and it's been over a year for this one since my visit — that's what happens when you currently have over 300 restaurants that have been photographed and yet to be blogged. But this doesn't matter too much for a clean and simple place like Fu Manchu which apparently has been operating for over 15 years, established in 1994 according to the menu, and will possibly be around for just as long again.

If you’re not afraid of a communal table, cylindrical seating and the colour red then you might be ready to enter this smallish restaurant for some early or late night dinner snacking. The Beijing dumplings lamb ($9 for 6) were reasonably priced although wondered why they weren’t available with pork. The Steamed gow gee seafood ($10 for 4) had thankfully visible prawn and scallop inside. The menu special of Blackbean fish ($15) is lightly flavoured and the Roast duck plate ($15) comes with Chinese greens and ready to share or as a dinner for one. The menu special of King prawns and snowpea wok ($20) is a tasty morsel but at a price and peeling is required meaning messy fingers. For a healthier option Brown rice ($3 small) is available for a dollar extra over plain steamed.

It’s BYO and a limited selection is also available and reasonably priced like the Mountain Goat Organic Steam Ale ($7) and Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ($6) but you’ll have to be content with having it served in a tumbler glass as wine glasses are not available. I can't remember what the service was like but it couldn't have been too bad and I think it's a place where you don't necessarily stay for a long time chatting about philosophy all night but more for a simple and fairly quick meal.

PROS: Reasonably priced drinks and dishes, Casual atmosphere, Open late til 10.30 pm, Brown rice available, No MSG
CONS: Might have to share communal table but there is seating for couples, Limited table space, Smallish dishes, Seating might not be the most comfortable, No wine glasses
MUST TRY: Steamed gow gee seafood

Beijing dumplings lamb ($9 for 6)

Steamed gow gee seafood ($10 for 4)

Blackbean fish ($15)

Brown rice ($3 small)

Roast duck plate ($15)

King prawns and snowpea wok ($20)

Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ($6), Mountain Goat Organic Steam Ale ($7)


Red chopsticks

Bill $91 for 3 people — they even work out how much that would be each for you

Communal table seating inside

Some seating for couples


john@heneedsfood said...

I can deal with no wine glasses but I won't deal with communal tables. Can't stand them. Aside from that I just may eventually get to this relic of a place

Anonymous said...

Hey John
We do have separate tables for two as well as private rooms for larger groups upstairs.
Hope you will try us soon.

Hey Simon
Thanks for including us in your blog.
Much appreciated,
From the team at fu

joey@FoodiePop said...

Good to see the restaurant follows your blog. :-)

And over 300 restaurants behind??? Wow, you could not dine out for a few years and still keep up the regularity of posts! LOL

MelbaToast said...

I love Fu Manchu - it used to be my local when I lived in Darlo. I'm not a fan of communal tables either - I always feel like people are listening into my oh-so-boring conversations. We used to go there quite early in the evening and always had a seat that wasn't next to anyone else. Great food...I miss this place.

lateraleating said...

They doing the calcs to split the bill is a great plus, more restaurants should do it!

Tina@foodboozeshoes said...

300 blog posts...? You'd better get to work ;)

Dumpling love... <3

thang @ noodlies said...

haven't been here for ages, I'm with John re communal tables.. but didn't know there were other table arrangements.. the fish looks good

skye@wildsugar said...

It has been years since I have been to Fu Manchu. Simon I would love to hear where your favourite dumpling spots are in Sydney and Melbourne. I'm sure you would have written about it before... perhaps i shld go through your archives. Oh how i love dumplings and peking duck. My favourite savoury food. Cheers!

Simon Food Favourites said...

hi john, if you go with a few friends then you can always sit in the middle of the group so you're not next to any strangers :-)

hi team of fu, thanks for the extra details about the seating arrangements

hi joey, i think you're right about not having to go our for a few years and i'll still have plenty of places still to review. but we both know i won't be able to stop going out.

hi melbatoast, i always feel a little uncomfortable with strangers sitting next to me. i feel i can't talk about certain things with my friends.

hi lateraleating, i thought it was very cute how they did the split bill calculations — very helpful since everyone seems to have to work this out at the end of the meal anyway.

hi tina, i better start employing some people hehe

hi thang, i don't think you're alone with the dislike of communal tables but i guess it's a way to make new friends too hehe

hi skye, my fav dumpling places tend to be the really cheap ones like Sea Bay Dumplings on Pitt St near World Square and Shanghai Night in Ashfield just before you get lots more for your money and they tend to have a high turnover. i'm not sure about Melbourne but I have HuTong Dumpling Bar on my wishlist for next time i visit. I also enjoyed the dumplings at Dumpling and Noodle House on Victoria St in Potts Point but haven't had a chance to blog review as yet — hopefully soon :-)

Anonymous said...

Oh my god your blog is JUST what i've been looking for for the past hour! I've been trying to choose a resturant but no-one gives enough detail.. Your blog- a good look at the food, some shots of the menu (with pricing!) and a look at the outside of the place to make it easier to find.. Great. Thank you so much!

Simon Food Favourites said...

hi anonymous, i'm glad my blog was helpful. thanks for the kind supportive comments. i try and make my reviews as short although as comprehensive as possible so you get a good idea of what to expect :-)

Anonymous said...

Not to mention your review of their toilets! I always make my boyfriend review the toilets at restaurants before I go!

Love your work. Keep blogging!

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