Man Fu Yuan is the in-house Cantonese restaurant of Intercontinental Hotel. It's walkable from my home so I arranged to meet up with Long, one of my best men, for our monthly meet-ups there for a dim sum lunch. Since he's newly single, it's a lot easier to meet up with him. I predict he won't stay single for long though. He's like the sweetest guy, hardworking, humble, honest, reliable and the typical guy-next-door. Hahaa, I do sound like I'm placing a personal ad for him, don't I? Interested parties, please PM me.
I was surprised to find that Man Fu Yuan was a near full house on a weekend lunch, because it's quite the ghost town during a weekday dinner I had before. The service was faultless and superb, very much in line with the standard of a five-star hotel. However, the food wasn't commensurate with the prices charged. The more-than-Lei-Garden-prices didn't even translate to Lei Garden-quality food. (Lei Garden is my yardstick for the best Cantonese food that's also pricey) I suppose they charge a premium due to the use of costly luxurious ingredients in an effort to incorporate an unusual twist in their dishes. In my view, they really don't need to do that because I taste no discernible difference between the food here and the ones at say, Imperial Treasure, so prices need to be at least a-third less than what it is now to draw in the masses.
The skin of Prawn Dumpling "Ha Kau" ($6.80) was delectably thin and chewy, and diced green melons lent a sweet accent to the crunchy prawns. This was good, but not worth the $6.80 pricetag. Just for comparison, Lei Garden charges about $4.80 for the same thing.
The "Siew Mai" ($6.80) purportedly had premium lingzhi mushrooms in the minced pork dumpling but to me, there wasn't a discernible difference between the lingzhi mushroom or the Chinese black mushrooms added to other minced pork dumplings. That said, this had a nice juicy and bouncy texture.
The Honey Glazed Pork Buns ($5.20) was also commendable, fluffy buns filled with sticky sweet smoky diced barbecued pork.
The barbecued pork stuffed inside the steamed buns.
The Eight Treasures Glutinous Rice with Chicken ($6.80) supposedly had premium ingredients as well, but it still didn't taste like it was worth its pricetag because there was too little ingredients. Still, the rice was suitably moist and tasty.
It's most apparent from the rice rolls that Man Fu Yuan is too pricey, as Lei Garden's ones are only $4.80. Although the Rice Rolls with Prawns and Yellow Chives ($8.80) look an unappetizing mess, the rice rolls were quite delicious. The somewhat thicker-than-usual rice rolls were saved by a very delectable chewy and filmsy texture, and the addition of chives lent a fresh quality to the savoury dish.
The Rice Rolls with Barbecued Pork and Preserved Vegetables ($8.80)was unusual in a sense that sweet preserved vegetables lent a piquant sweetness to the barbecued pork.
I didn't quite like the Pan-fried Radish Cake ($5.20) with preserved meat. The texture was a little pulverised, like too much flour was added, so it turned out a little generic and plain.
The Deep-fried Beancurd Skin Roll with Prawns ($6.80) was rendered inedible as it was peppered with way too much flat-leaf parsley, which both Long and I don't eat.
Man Fu Yuan
80 Middle Road
Intercontinental Hotel 2nd Floor
Tel: 6825 1062
Open daily from 11am to 2.15pm for lunch, 6pm to 10.30pm for dinner