Dim sum take three was at Man Fu Yuan over at Hotel Intercontinental.
First up was the Deep-Fried Yam Croquette with Minced Duck. Shaped like an alien's head, the croquette had a mashed yam coat with frilly crispy bits on the outside and minced duck inside. I am a sucker for mashed tubers.
This was the Deep-Fried Scallops with Sugar Cane. The breaded scallop flesh tasted sweet and the golden crust paired well with the Thai-styled chilli sauce. Biting into the sugar cane stick was an added pleasure! Somehow brings back dining memories of my childhood.
The Pan-Fried Radish Cake had tasty bits of preserved meat but the radish cake was too soft for my liking. The exterior surface could have been more evenly fried too.
Deep-Fried Filo Dough was a bundle of crispiness. I can't recall what's inside it so hopefully Camemberu or Ladyironchef does. Hehe.
The next item was a stunner for me. Double-Boiled Dumpling with Shark’s Fin had a thin filmsy dumpling coat which tore away to reveal the shark's fin. The best part of this dish that I had really enjoyed was the soup. It had a gentle milky sweetness that combined with the heady flavours of dried seafood. Double-boiled from shark cartilage, the soup was rich and felt like it was full of collagen.
Long after this bowl of soup, the gastronomic memories of it still continue to echo aloud. Such is its power... and my weakness.
Moving along after that soul-transforming bowl of soup, the Baked Fluffy Skin Pie with Chicken & Mango spotted a buttery pastry crust but its filling was a tad weak to stand up to the pastry.
Deep-Fried Water Chestnut Cake featured a translucent water chestnut cake that was soft and jelly-like, with a battered crust. I like the fact that it was just slightly sweetened.
The following item brought whoops to the table as Aroma Cookery has been hoping for these deep-fried snacks at previous dim sum places. Alas. As fate would have had it, she could not make it to this session.
The Deep-Fried Traditional Chicken Dumpling aka hum sui kok was a real delight! The skin was of a good texture being nicely chewy, soft and yielding to each bite. Inside, the filling of chopped raddish, spring onions, mushrooms and chicken was a fragrant savoury mix of flavours. One word for this- Yum.
Wait a minute. Where's the usual dim sum favourites? Coming right up! The tasting was arranged such that the fried items came before the steamed ones.
But before we bade farewell to the fried items, I have to mention something about the tea. Or more specifically, the cooling tea (liang cha). With a balance of sweet and pleasantly bitter notes, this was perfect to soothe the throat and prepare the palate for more food. i could imagine luo han guo, ginseng, liquorice, red dates and chrysathenum.
There were quite a few cheong fun each with a different filling but I thought the Special Cheong Fun was more unique. Instead of wrapping the filling with steamed rice flours, ingredients for the filling was incorporated into the rice flour sheets and then steamed. It gave a different mouthfeel and texture. Rather unique eh?
The Har Gao here was also decent with very fresh-tasting prawns within.
On the other hand, I found the Siew Mai a little porky with a tad stronger hint of kee smell.
The Mini Pot Rice with Chicken was chockfull with ingredients like dried mushrooms, lup cheong etc but tasted rather bland without the sauce that was served separately.
Unfortunately, the Phoenix Eye Dumpling wasn't outstanding enough to catch my attention among the slew of dim sum that kept coming. I did try it but don't seem to have much of an impression.
Xiao Long Bao took its form as the Juicy Dumpling with Foie Gras. Wow. Foie Gras in dim sum? But the flavour of the western delicacy was rather muted.
This Vegetarian Dumpling held the veggie goodness that mum
Scallop Dumpling with Pea Shoot looked interesting and tasted interesting too. The vegetal taste of the pea shoots seemed a bit strong for the scallop though.
Final dish of the afternoon was the Beef ball with Bamboo Pith. This was a classic and reminded me of a similar dish that I had in Hong Kong. The beef ball was juicy and the taste of Chinese parsley was evident. Good for those who like the herb. Too bad for me.
My main highlights for this session has got to be the Double-Boiled Dumpling with Shark’s Fin and the Deep-Fried Traditional Chicken Dumpling. Those two are really worth going back for...with a pot of the cooling tea too.
Thanks to Sharon and Patrick of Hotel Intercontinental for hosting us and Jackson of Cuisine & Wine Asia for this dim sum feature.
Man Fu Yuan
Tel: 6825 1962
Chew On This: There are two seating areas in Man Fu Yuan- one which is more communal with a bunch of other tables and the other more private with partitions and rooms for privacy. Perfect options for any occasion.