And now for a nice, long drink
Riddle looks into the face of Fu at Clapham’s latest, Chinese themed, cocktail bar
Review by Andy Barnham
Named after Sax Rohmer’s fictional character, Fu Manchu is a newly opened cocktail bar located under the railway arches at Clapham North. Visitors are greeted by a giant face of Fu, painted on the walls, as they enter this den where raw brickwork has been lit by installations designed by Louisa Smurthwaite whose previous clients include Kylie, Pulp, Florence + The Machine.
Fu’s stern features are a contrast to the vibe and atmosphere offered under the arches where the DJs are in charge of proceedings and don’t stop until 3am. Jonathan Bestley kicks off proceedings with the Yao Dawn Project on Fridays while resident DJs Melvo Baptiste, Russ Ray and Jedd Barry entertain revellers with DimSumDisco on Saturdays. For those allergic to the dance floor and would prefer to put their feet up, there are seating areas are at both ends of the space.
As with most joints that serve cocktails, a certain amount of patience is needed while queuing at the bar; so be quick to the front and the energetic bartenders will be pouring you a Mai Chai (a twist on the classic Mai Tai) or a Manchu’s Mind Control (Fu’s own secret grog served in the face of Fu) in no time. Prices are reasonable, the most expensive is £10, but the tea infusions and spices may not be to everyone’s taste and anyone driving should be warned that non alcoholic cocktails aren’t on offer.
The final ingredient to this elaborate plot is the dim sum. Classic dishes such as Har Gau and Siu Mai are available, as well as set menus offering 50 pieces (The Drums of Fu Manchu). Individual pieces are large and surprisingly good. Come for the disco, stay for the dim sum.
Enquiries: Fu Manchu, 15- 16 Lendal Terrace, London, SW4 7UX / 0203 3397 8844 / firstname.lastname@example.org / fumanchu.co.uk