Fu Manchu, Clapham
Clapham is a vixen. Naughty Clapham! Fu Manchu, the new late night cocktail bar and dim sum restaurant is going to fit right in to Clapham’s cheeky little scene. A stone’s throw from Clapham North tube station yet not that easy to find – it’s located under the railway arch as you turn right out of the station. There’s an underground feel to the space, which only serves to add to the minxy vibe. There’s a long, incredibly well stocked bar the length of the left side as you walk in and the rest of the space is flanked around the edges by high tables and chairs . The lighting by Louisa Smurthwaite is neon then soft then gone and back again, there’s a big painting of Fu Manchu (for the record, he was a great big homicidal maniac – eek) on the exposed brick wall looking down at us all with a Machiavellian smirk almost encouraging bad behaviour and the bar staff are ferociously shaking and stirring, and looking hot while doing it. Things are going to get messy. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
The dim sum is delicious (despite what Grace Dent says). All of the favourites are here: har gau (king prawn in translucent wrapper), sui mai (prawn and chicken open dumpling), gow choi gau (prawn and chive dumpling) – the list is properly endless. Big shout out goes to the salt, pepper and chilli broccoli, da healthy nibbles…Ah so what if it’s fried? Get ’em down ya. The menu doesn’t stop there either; there are salads such as the hot and sour rare beef, soups, set menus too and a selection of Jing teas. The cocktails are tasty (made from Asian spices and Chinese tea infusions) and potent: lethal combination. Try the Green Tea-ni (Bombay Sapphire gin, green matcha powder, sugar syrup, apple and lime juice or the Manchu Mind Control, which is a moreish blend of secret recipe grog shaken with guava, mango and lime juice. Served in tankard of Fu Manchu’s face.
Foodies: invite your squeeze for an amazing Sunday lunch spread, enjoy some carefree cocktails and chat about travel, food, sex and mystery. Go for a walk on nearby Clapham Common afterward to walk it off.
Players: it’s Friday night and you’re looking for a hottie to hold. Fu Manchu is likely to be buzzing with fellas and gals looking to have a good time. Make a play for the bar at around 11pm and sidle up to someone who takes your fancy. Give them a smile. Ask them their name. Buy them a cocktail. Get them on the dancefloor and lose yourselves to the night.
It gets sweaty in there.
4. Easy there, tiger.