Let’s be honest, most of us who don’t live in Clapham tend not to venture there. But now apart from a mandatory visit to the Dairy (masters of seasonal, innovative British small plate food), you have another excuse to venture there.
Fu Manchu opened its doors last week, and those of you who enjoy the combination of dim sum and cocktails will love this place. Delicate, exquisite steamed dim sum is served in all different flavours and shapes (the spinach and scallop one was amazing). The (super charming) bar man said the restaurant had been fully booked every night and the response has been incredible, and I can totally understand why.
I’ve gone a bit off cocktails recently but the Green Dragon is the best I’ve had in a while. Made with vodka, green Cointreau, lychee, green chilli and ginger beer, this Oriental-inspired cocktail is refreshing and had a wonderful firey chilli zing to it – hence the name I’m guessing. We tried a number of others, like the Lady Jasmin (below). Delicious.
The interior is a perfect fit for the place. Under the railway arches close to Clapham North, the exposed brick arched ceiling gives Fu Manchu all the space it deserves and is perfect for the clubby vibe which sets off later on in the evening. They’ve gone for a mixture of a modern industrial space with a Victorian opium den feel, but without the stuffiness (and the smoke). I loved the painting of the fictional villain Fu Manchu on one of the walls, and of the chubby laughing Buddha in one of the corners.
From 10pm the lights properly dim, the DJ decks start spinning and the dance floor gets going. It’s ideal for those Clapham-ites (and other South London dwellers) who want to keep drinking when the pubs shut (but abhor Infernos). It’s open until 3am on the weekends so now you have a proper excuse to keep your party shoes on.
15-16 Lendal Terrace,
London SW4 7UX
Photos are Fu Manchu’s own