Fu's, glorious Fu's!
In my quest to visit every restaurant in Chinatown, it was high time I broke my Try Thai habit and ventured into unchartered territory. At first, I was going to try the Great Wall as it had a purse-friendly offer on (business lunch £4.50) but as I descended the rickety stairs into the sleazy basement, the staff looked ever so unfriendly and the restaurant looked like a condemned council flat from 'Grimefighters' complete with furnishings that looked as if they had come out of a skip. I ran as fast as I could before I could catch anything (hopefully it will close before I have a chance to visit it as part of my New Year challenge). Then I spotted Fu's.
Fu's doesn't have any garish signage, nor does it do any special lunchtime deals- this place relies on the sheer brilliance of its food and word of mouth in the Chinese community. It is tucked away above mainstays like Try Thai and China City, the name of the game here being back to basics with its food doing the talking. The decor is informal like a cafe but nonetheless crisp and clean. No tacky paper lanterns here! There are no stereotypical Chinese souvenirs littering the walls, but pieces of football memorabilia and photos of stars. The tables are all set with chopsticks, indicating this place is geared up more for Chinese people and foodies, not drunken stag parties of louts slobbering over their chicken chow mein.
There are two choices of menu here, one typical menu what Brits are used to and one specialist Chinese menu with what I call 'Bushtucker Trials'- you know, the feet and private parts of cows and chickens. Although I consider myself an intrepid explorer in the foodie world, I stuck with the 'normal' menu being veggie. To start, I had veggie hot and sour soup (I am so predictable) and for mains, tofu in black bean sauce.
CONGRATULATIONS FU'S!! You have won Manchester's best Veggie Hot and Sour soup! This H and S was the most amazing I've tried since coming to Manchester. Velvety yet with bite, a great distinction between both hot and sour tastes, this soup can join Edinburgh's Panda Inn and Liverpool's Chung Ku in Britain's best hot and sour hall to fame. Let's hope the main course measures up...
It did. Wow, what a huge portion, I thought I was going to need a doggy bag. The single portion of EFR was enough for two,the main course consisting of huge chunky tofu slabs gently marinated in the blackbean sauce, garnished with spring onions. Beautiful. Fu's, you have the winning formula. Unobtrusive yet friendly service, informal yet not chavvy atmosphere, authentic, filling dishes suitable for veggies, a brilliant drinks menu and even potent coffee!
Try Thai, you have very stiff competition now on your doorstep, but you're both my babies, it'd be cruel to pick a favourite one!