Name of restaurant: Man Fu Yuan
Type of cuisine: Cantonese
One of the best types of Sunday brunches you can have are those where you gather the extended family (at least those you’re still talking to) and sit at a round table for a spot of dim sum that starts from 11am in the morning, lasts all the way until 3pm in the afternoon and gorge yourself silly.
Man Fu Yuan has recently updated their dim sum menu and added new dishes with a 1950s twist, think blast-from-the-past dishes that your parents or grandparents used to enjoy.
These new dim sum dishes will be part of its a la carte menu as well as its new weekend dim sum buffet brunch, where diners can also order barbequed suckling pig, stewed noodles with lobster, ginger and spring onion as well as their signature baked foie gras and scallop roll, among a heady variety of 79 others.
Man Fu Yuan was refurbished late last year, unveiling a brand new look that exemplifies modern Chinese décor.
Plenty of natural light streams in from the slat windows and the central stairwell area near the entrance of the restaurant, giving the restaurant the relaxed, comfortable vibe every leisurely dim sum brunch needs.
What’s more, there are also cozy but spacious nooks for a dim sum party that has four people or less so you don’t have to try to fit yourself around a round table.
As old-style dim sum is the name of the game here, many of these dim sum dishes are not what you will usually find elsewhere, with variations on ingredients used and method of eating them.
The commonly recognised siew mai takes on a different form in their Minced Pork Dumpling with Mushroom, Conpoy & Pig Stomach. Instead of the egg roe that typically sits on top of the siew mai, a juicy piece of pig’s stomach and a sprinkling of conpoy (dried scallop strips) is served up with the siew mai.
The dreaded stink that sometimes accompanies not very well-cooked pig’s intestines couldn’t be detected, so diners who are wary of that can take heart from this fact.
Another must-try is the Rice Roll with Chinese Fritter, or better known as Chee Cheong Fun with You Tiao . This is as traditional as the popular rice roll can get, as it is served the same way it is still sold on roadside food carts in Hong Kong, stuffed with Chinese Fritter and eaten with a mixture of two sauces, the salty-sweet brown chee cheong fun sauce and a flavourful peanut sesame sauce.
The combination of the both sauces on top of the plain rice roll and the slightly chewy texture of the chinese fritters blend together delightfully in the mouth, and is quite a refreshing change from the chilli and soy sauce variety.
The Barbecued Pork & Chicken Cake is like a combination between a crumbly tau sar piah and a char siew sou. At one glance, it looks like just any other tau sar piah, albeit a steaming hot one, but when you bite into it, the goodness of the savoury char siew filling coupled with the flaky pastry will envelope your taste buds; so unexpected but amazingly good.
Chilli Crabmeat Tart
Chilli-lovers, don’t miss out on the Chilli Crabmeat Tart. While it presents itself as a dainty snack, it really is more of an excuse for chilli-crab lovers to indulge in all the chilli crab they want without feeling the guilt. Each tart came heaped with lots of finely-shredded chilli crab, so much so that the chilli crab sometimes threatened to dissolve the buttery tart it was sitting on.
Be warned though, this chilli crabmeat tart is on the spicy side so take careful first bites before you plunge in and eat it whole. Thankfully, the wonderfully buttery pastry helps take the edge off the spice a little, so most Singaporeans should be able to stand the heat.
If you’re looking for something more substantial but don’t want glutinous rice, order the Mini Pot Rice. Cooked and served in the same small ceramic bowl, the Mini Pot Rice is meat cooked on top of rice and eaten together after dressing it with the special sauce that comes with the dish.
Clockwise from Top: Mini Pot Rice, Prawn Dumpling Traditional Style, Beef Ball with Bamboo Pith, Rice Roll with Bbq Pork & Preserved Vegetables and Custard Bun
There are three different types of Mini Pot Rice available, beef & egg, chicken & salted fish and pork & octopus. We tried the pork & octopus combination that had just the right amount of flavour when eaten along with the rice, but diners can choose to drizzle the sauce all over for an added kick.
To round off the meal, try the Steamed Egg Custard bun, or Liu Sha Bao. The defining sign of a good egg custard bun is that the egg custard managed to keep the gritty texture of the salted egg yolk while still maintaining a good balance between the sweetness of the custard and the saltiness of the egg yolk.
From left: Fried egg custard bun, Steamed egg custard bun
If you still have space after all that, try also the deep fried version of the bun. It is just as good as the steamed bun but a lot sturdier so there’s no danger of losing to the table any of that sunshine yellow tastiness.
The Weekend Dim Sum Buffet Brunch is priced at $88++ per adult and $58++ per child (aged four to 12). It is available on weekends and public holidays between 11.45 a.m. to 2.30 p.m.
A La Carte options are also available for each dish named here.
For something different from your run-of-the-mill dim sum dishes or to treat your elders to a nostalgic meal, you’ll have to make a trip down to Man Fu Yuan to enjoy their extensive dim sum menu. Take your time, because you’ll probably want doubles of many.
Man Fu Yuan is located at 2F InterContinental Singapore, 80 Middle Road. Call 6825 1062 for reservations or enquiries.