Having been away from Singapore for the past 6 months, I do have to admit that attempting to cook your own dishes at home can be a huge chore, especially if you’re not a fantastic cook (or even a decent cook to begin with). Thankfully the Asian food Gods heard my prayers and I was lucky enough to get a chance to sample Man Fu Yuan @ InterContinental Singapore’s new menu this June/July, thanks to Food&Travel Magazine‘s invitation. Apparently, Man Fu Yuan (MFY) reinvents their menu every 9 months, which is in my opinion, a great way to come up with new ways to keep customers coming in.
One of Singapore’s finest and most favoured restaurants, Man Fu Yuan prides itself in serving authentic Cantonese cuisine featured in a sophisticated and contemporary ambience in the InterContinental Hotel in the Bugis precinct.
The first thing on our plates was the MFY Signature Appetizer Platter ($28++/person). It featured starters such as “Drunken Chicken” marinated with Aged Hua Diao and Rose Dew Wine, which was refreshing and a great way to start a fulfilling dinner. Alongside that was the Crispy Sea Perch Cubes with Spicy Lime Sauce. It consists of a mixture of century egg and sea perch (a type of fish) which one would think may not be to one’s taste, but it was quite an enjoyment to eat. The Deep-fried Lobster coated with Salted Egg Yolk could have done with more salted egg, but nonetheless the lobster was fresh and juicy. The Eggplant tossed with Chicken Floss was my favourite – and I’m not a fan of eggplant at all. However MFY has managed to coat the eggplant in a crispy batter, and even more stunning was the addition of chicken floss. It was something simple, yet it managed to elevate itself onto a whole different level. I may be a huge fan of chicken floss and perhaps I may be a tad biased, but I loved every bit of it. The Chilled Sake Mirin Crabmeat with Black Fungus and Tobiko Roe was the last to be polished off the plate, and certainly something I have never tried before. The crabmeat was fresh and beautifully coated in mirin, and the roe a subtle but good touch.
The Double-boiled Seafood Soup served in Coconut ($28++) was the next dish. What’s a dinner at a Cantonese restaurant without soup? The soup was light and nutritious, and can even be served as a light meal on its own. Finished with a prawn and a slice of scallop, inside it were pieces of mushroom for added flavour. A bonus for me was the sweetness of the flesh of the coconut, which went well with the soup.
The Smoked Duck with Chinese Tea Leaves and Brown Sugar ($70++/whole; $44++/half) is one of MFY’s signature dishes. The skin was crispy and the duck juicy, although I felt that I could not taste much of the tea leaves. As much as I love duck, I feel I have had better ones overseas. Nevertheless, those who love MFY’s duck will definitely be keen on sampling a new rendition of their signature dish.
This was one of dishes I was most keen on trying. The Live Australian Mussels Stir-fried with Homemade Black Bean Sauce served in Claypot (Market Price) was one of the best dishes of the night. The quality of the mussels used was top notch, and the black bean mixture was fragrant and left my mouth watering. If you love seafood, I suggest you order this to give yourself a treat.
Much like Claypot rice, the Black Sea Mantis Shrimp with Stewed Rice in Stone Bowl ($58++) seemed very interesting. The rice was well separated and fragrant, although I felt there could have been more ingredients inside. However the addition of the homemade XO sauce improved the overall flavour of the dish. The vegetables added a nice crunch and I think this would be great for families who would like to try an alternative to the usual fried rice. If you would like an extra kick, MFY also serves their Superior Homemade XO Sauce on the side by the heapful (you will definitely need a refill halfway), which every single one of you HAVE to try. The best part is that they sell bottles of these for you to bring home! I foresee myself stocking up for the months ahead back overseas…
At this point in time, I felt like I had the weight of a cow in my stomach. But when dessert arrived, my eyes lit up like wildfire. The platter of Cream of Avocado with Baileys Ice Cream ($8++) and Deep-fried Purple Sweet Potato Custard ($12++) sounded like music to Mozart’s ears.
I think if there is one thing I would eat from the dessert menu, it would be the latter hands down. Although the sweet potato may sound like a very heavy way to end dinner, the pastry was lighter than expected and extremely sweet, oozing with goodness. The cream of avocado is also a great dessert for those who prefer to finish dinner on an even lighter note, although I do highly recommend giving this sinful delight a try.
Also, do note that these dishes do not come as a set and is meant to be ordered individually – these are just a series of new creations MFY have come up with this time round in addition to the usual dishes you would order!
Here’s a small fun fact for those that do not already know – the Chinese believe that eating at round tables signifies equality, regardless of status or wealth because of its ability to enable people to sit across one another without differentiation. A Chinese lunch/dinner is always a noisy one, filled with the chatter and banter of adults and the laughter of children. The quality of the food served at Man Fu Yuan did not disappoint, and I do see myself coming back here during big occasions such as Chinese New Year or birthdays with my family. In my opinion it isn’t just the quality of the food that matters, but the plating of the food that does too. I appreciate how the Chef made the effort to decorate the platter with pressed flowers or even neatly arranging the dishes (we eat with our eyes too!). And if they asked if I would like to take their gorgeous Chinaware home, I would have said yes without batting an eyelid. (Fun fact #2: At the time of the post, I have already been back on my own.)
What’s worth paying for:
Double-boiled Seafood Soup served in Coconut.
Live Australian Mussels Stir-fried with Homemade Black Bean Sauce served in Claypot.
Deep-fried Purple Sweet Potato Custard Ball.
Words by Sharmaine Chan.
Photos by Kathleen.
Address: 80 Middle Road, #02-00 Intercontinental Singapore
Telephone: 6338 7600 (takes reservations)
Opening Hours: 11am – 2.30pm, 6pm – 10.30pm (Daily)
This was a media session.