Fu Manchu Review a Chinese restaurant catering for caucasian palates – Darlinghurst

[adsensea]I once read that Fu Manchu was a delight and a small intimate restaurant that was so successful they decided to expand… Now I don’t know what Fu Manchu’s food tasted like before it moved to its new and trendy location, but I do know how it tastes now: Not anything like Chinese food. And now, judging by the patrons who come in, none being asians, I should have known this place caters for caucasian palates.

Fu Manchu Darlinghurst inside the restaurant
Fu Manchu Darlinghurst, trendy location

I have to say that the other hint this place wasn’t Chinese enough was the service. Too friendly and too warm (which is nice) Unfortunately, I still much prefer the “Ni Hao Ma” launched with this automated voice they all seem to share at Din Tai Fung combined with the quality of food there (it all comes down to the taste right). Though it first sounds army-like, it gives the place that sense of Chinese order! :)

Fu Manchu Darlinghurst - Pork Belly Bun AUD 7
Fu Manchu Darlinghurst – Pork Belly Buns AUD 7

Monsieur and I ordered the pork belly buns AUD 7 for 2 to share, and much to my dismay, the bun is dry, the pork belly doesn’t have any wow factor aside from the sauce and the ratio meat to bun is far from satisfying.

Fu Manchu Darlinghurst - Pork Belly Buns AUD 7
Fu Manchu Darlinghurst – Pork Belly Buns AUD 7

Monsieur finds it’s too bunny, not meaty enough and I concur.

Fu Manchu Darlinghurst - Duck Wraps AUD 18 for 4
Fu Manchu Darlinghurst – Duck Wraps AUD 18 for 4

The only dish we thought, was worth the visit was the duck wraps AUD 18 for 4. Fairly priced versus the AUD 7 a piece at East Ocean’s Yum Cha and healthier too… as we weren’t given the crispy skin but the lean breast. It tasted great, but how wrong can one go on duck wraps?

Fu Manchu Darlinghurst - Char Siu Wontons and egg noodles AUD 14
Fu Manchu Darlinghurst – Char Siu Wontons and egg noodles AUD 14

We go on with two mains, first being the char siu, wontons and egg noodles AUD 14, it is far from the delicious wontons we’re used to at either Chef’s Gallery or Din Tai Fung. The wontons are unfortunately tasteless, with not a hint of ginger. The char siu isn’t  char siued enough, it just tastes like pink pork really. The veggies are good and crisp though. As for the egg noodles, they’re ultra thin and definitely not the fresh ones they pull in front of you at Chef’s gallery. Overall, I wouldn’t recommend these noodles at all.

Fu Manchu Darlinghurst - Hainan Chicken Rice AUD 15
Fu Manchu Darlinghurst – Hainan Chicken Rice AUD 15

Hainan Chicken Rice AUD 15 is the last savoury dish we’ve ordered. As soon as it comes, the smell of cinnamon is simply overwhelming… unfortunately not in a pleasing way. I like cinnamon with my apples, but cinammon chicken is definitely not my cup of tea. The balance of spices does not seem right. Though the chicken is tender and the broth tastes the way it should, this Chicken rice simply doesn’t match the quality of the best chicken rice I’ve had in Sydney. The rice also tastes of cinnamon, and I suspect they’ve switched cinnamon for ginger, because I cannot sense any ginger at all aside from the sauce that sits on the plate…

Fu Manchu Darlinghurst - Sago dessert
Fu Manchu Darlinghurst – Sago dessert AUD 6

For dessert, we have sago with coconut cream and young coconut on top AUD 6. The bottom part is liquid palm sugar. The dessert is nice, though AUD 6 for such a small glass is a bit dear. That said, our bill came down to a reasonable AUD 59…

But Monsieur and I left disappointed. Though the service is spot on, and water is served without having to ask, the taste factor is too important and is unfortunately left out. Most dishes lacked the right balance of spices, the right flavours and ingredients (dried buns and pink pork that wasn’t char siu pork namely) even suffered from a sharp lack of quality. Apart from the duck wraps, I wouldn’t recommend anything from Fu Manchu. Monsieur and I won’t be coming back… Even my Frenchman has a palate that’s turning Chinese as not only did he sense the cinnamon in the Hainan Chicken, he also felt there was too much aniseed for that one Hainan Chicken… I’m turning my hubby Chinese! ;)

Mademoiselle’s rating : 5.5/10

Fu Manchu on Urbanspoon

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