Bangkok Post reviews
Cantonese you can count on
- Writer: Bangkok Post Editorial
- Published: August 16, 2013 at 8:23 am
The best of Singapore's Chinese cuisine delights in Bangkok
Man Fu Yuan is the first dining outlet of the private Rajpruek Club that’s open to the public.
Good news for avid connoissuers of fine traditional Chinese cuisine: one of Singapore's most treasured Cantonese restaurants is now open in Bangkok.
The first dining outlet in Rajpruek Club to open to non-members, Man Fu Yuan, which was originally launched at the InterContinental Singapore, offers Bangkokians a place where authentic Cantonese fare with a sophisticated modern touch can be savoured amidst a contemporary elegant setting.
To go with the private golf club's exclusiveness, the style of cuisine here is rather personalised. The food is prepared with top-notch imported ingredients and without any compromise on authenticity, and ideally paired with 10 luxurious blends of tea exclusively created for the restaurant.
Having landed from Lion City, the restaurant's manager-cum-host Patrick Ng said: "No matter if you come for a prime-grade seafood platter or a simple bowl of rice congee, you will always be satisfied here. The menu is designed to be just a guideline. We can cook anything the way you want. Just give us a few hours in advance."
To confirm its standpoint as a refined dining establishment, Man Fu Yuan's meals always start with a serving of amuse-bouche. The complimentary starter, which changes daily, offers diners a scrumptious sneak peek into the chef's dexterous cuisine.
One of the exquisitely decked out private rooms.
On the day we visited, the addictive deep-fried golden needle mushrooms provided us a lot of gastronomic confidence. The fine mushroom strands with awesome brittle texture and subtle taste suggested that they weren't hastily fried, but meticulously prepared to retain the characteristic mushroom flavour that's perfectly complemented by a crispy touch.
Man Fu Yuan has long been treasured as one of Singapore's best places for dim sum. The neatly handcrafted delicacies can be enjoyed here at the Bangkok outlet either in communal style from bamboo baskets or in a contemporary presentation on fine Chinaware for each individual diner.
A personal platter of signature dim sum comprises of the three best-selling delicacies: the traditional-style prawn dumpling, aka ha gao, the Sichuan chive dumpling, and the gluninous rice dumpling, aka hum sui goh.
The ha gao (138 baht if ordered a la carte) presented fresh supple prawn inside the soft translucent rice-flour skin. The Sichuan dumpling (138 baht) exhibited a scrumptious filling and sauce that were well-rounded in taste and not at all bitingly peppery as I had expected. The deep-fried glutinous dumpling (128 baht), meanwhile, featured the delectable minced chicken meat and shiitake mushroom filling inside the pudgy skin that's crispy on the outside and glutinous on the inside.
On the dim sum menu we also sampled bean curd skin roll with shrimp (138 baht). The plump and hefty roll with crispy golden brown skin was cut diagonally in sizeable pieces to reveal firm, supple shrimp-meat filling. The brilliant treat, one of the best in town, was accompanied by the sweet plum sauce.
The collagen-booster dish: braised abalone, goose web and sea cucumber.
For the main entree, we went for the collagen-booster dish. Not only is the platter of braised abalone, goose web and sea cucumber (1,688 baht) an ideal option for those with wrinkles, it's also a superb representative of Man Fu Yuan's eminent Chinese fare.
Even though the Cantonese cuisine's most celebrated trio were presented together on a bed of Chinese spinach and laced with single gravy, they had been cooked separately and with distinct methods so that each of them could best demonstrate its unique flavour profile.
The abalone, from South Africa, boasted a caramel hue, characteristic gummy succulent texture and exceptional oceanic tang. The sea cucumber deliciously offered jelly-like clinging texture enhanced with the superior gravy. While the goose web, my favourite of all three, was light and creamy in colour, substantial in size and memorable in taste, was a result of pain-staking culinary effort. The goose feet were slightly deep-fried before being braised to exhibit a pleasantly spongy, almost fish maw-like mouthfeel.
Duck smoked with Chinese tea leaf (1,388 baht) is another much-loved specialty of the restaurant. A marriage between Sichuan smoked duck and Hong Kong roast poultry, the dish, presenting a whole sizeable duck to be carved before the guests, highlights the best characters of the two cuisines: the flavourful meat of the roast duck and the thin, crispy and fragrant skin of the Sichuan smoked duck. It's a dish that you should never miss.
The personal platter of signature dim sum comprises of the three bestselling delicacies.
Wrapping up the parade of savoury entrees is Ng's new menu specially created for this Bangkok branch. The stir-fried egg noodles with prawns (480 baht) is prepared solely with local ingredients, including the river prawn from the country's best source and bamee from an egg noodle maestro in Yaowarat. The noodles were double cooked to ensure its characteristic wok-burnt aroma, while the prawns were skillfully broiled to yield a delightfully rich savour.
For dessert, it doesn't matter if you're a sweet-tooth or not. You just can't afford to miss Man Fu Yuan's highly celebrated custard lava bun (280 baht for three pieces). The highly popular sweet treat is available in two forms: deep-fried and steamed. The deep-fried version, which our party of three preferred, perfectly revealed the luscious melting egg custard inside the crispy golden brown bun and proved the best I'd ever had. Another sweet treat also worth having is the chilled cream of rock melon with sago (128 baht), which very refreshingly finished off our meal.The restaurant had six private rooms. Service was far beyond expectation. I've rarely found such cordial, professional service at five-star restaurants downtown let alone at an establishment off the beaten track.