Dinner @ Man Fu Yuan

May 20, 2016 in Chinese by thywhaleliciousfay

$180 per head for steamboat? Say “whattttt!”

But! That did not deter me from steamboat-ing at Man Fu Yuan. Just ‘eat grass’ for more days weeks lor. (^^lll) Haha.

Man Fu Yuan has been on my list of eateries-to-check-out for the longest time ever. I admit. The exorbitant price was a factor that kept me from visiting sooner. But it was also that which got me really curious. I mean, to pay $180 for ingredients that’s boiled in broth? o_O

Reservation was made for a weekday dinner as soon as I managed to convince a friend to be as crazy as me to try the steamboat. Ha. And the thing about InterContinental Hotel is that all incoming calls were settled by the tele-department. Instead of re-directing my call to the restaurant, the tele-operator took down all information to my reservation before getting the restaurant to call me for confirmation. To which, the restaurant called me within 2 hours.

During the tele-conversation with the restaurant staff, he basically repeated the details of my reservation. And I highlighted to him of our dietary restriction which was no beef. The staff then went on to mention there were 2 beef dishes; beef slices and beef balls. And over the phone, we confirmed to change the beef balls to scallops. As for the beef slices, the staff mentioned we could be given more pork slices or have it replaced with something else. I expressed my interest to have the beef slices changed to something that’s not already on the menu.

Man Fu Yuan is very accessible. It’s linked from Bugis MRT station via Bugis Junction. And upon arrival, the staff at the restaurant reception easily identified my reservation. He went “steamboat?” as soon as I mentioned my name. Hmm…

We were then led to a room where we would be having our steamboat in. Ahhh… Private room. Personal butler. Premium ingredients. Total privacy. Absolute VIP treatment.

And from the menu, we started our dinner with:-


1) Drunken kampong chicken soup base (above) – Upon seated, the waiting staff who was appointed to assist us with our steamboat for the night began with stir frying the seasoned chicken in the pot, before going on to flambé the dish. And of course, having watched many episodes of my favourite Korean show ‘Please Take Care of My Refrigerator’, I know the purpose of flambéing is to enhance the taste. With dramatic presentation being a bonus. Ha. And with that, she continued to make the broth. We were given a bowl to taste the original flavour of the broth before the other ingredients went in. Soup was rich and fragrant. Yum.

2) Drunken kampong chicken (above) – The chicken was put aside for us to eat. I liked that the chicken breast wasn’t dry. A sign that we were in good hands; Our food was neither undercooked nor overcooked. Knowing my friend is a small eater, I had to remind him to leave sufficient stomach space for what’s to come cause he kept reaching out for more chicken. Ha.


3) Live whole star garoupa fillet (above) – It goes without saying that the fish was fresh and plump. Yes, plump. If it’s ever an appropriate word used to describe fish. =p And this dish prompted us to ask about the portion. Ie, what happens if it’s a bigger group that’s dining. To which the waiting staff said a bigger fish will be served. So small group, small fish. Big group, big fish. Ohhh…

4) Live local lobster (above) – We were allowed to have it either raw (like sashimi) or cooked. To which, we requested to have it in both ways. And after trying both, I preferred it cooked as it had a better crunch and was more flavorful as it had absorbed the essence of the rich broth. But both goes.

5) Tiger king prawn, fresh deshelled crab claw, fresh scallop (above) – As we don’t take beef, the beef balls were replaced with scallops. And the food could be best described with ‘simply fresh!’



6) Crab meat & crab roe dumpling, prawn dumpling with bird’s nest (above) – My friend and I didn’t like the crab meat dumpling. It was bland. And for a person like me who can’t even stand the sight of bird’s nest, I stomached the prawn dumpling with bird’s nest pretty well. It helped that I only realised it was bird’s nest after I finished the dumpling. And to those who are familiar with the texture of bird’s nest… It’s like vermicelli, but softer, that’s being wrapped around the fresh and crunchy prawn when we ate the prawn dumpling.

7) Spiky sea cucumber, handmade pork ball with dried sole, abalone coated with minced scallops (above) – Yes, we had an entire (baby) abalone each!

8) Fresh prawn dumpling, dace fish ball, handmade pork ball with dried sole (above) – The meat ball was so good! I really liked it. It was firm, yet bouncy. But I didn’t like the fish ball which texture was too mushy. The prawn dumpling was good too. The dumpling skin was taut from being packed tightly with ingredients.

9) Pork collar (above) – The original steamboat menu had beef slices on it. As no one confirmed what the beef slices were replaced with, I think we were given more pork collar. However, the pork was slightly overcooked as it was rubbery. I think the thickness of the pork slices contributed to its chewiness, which was still acceptable to me. But my friend was more critical as we were paying a premium price for dinner. And no, he didn’t finish his portion of meat.


10) Porridge with deep-fried beancurd (above) – And for this, the head and tail of the garoupa which we had earlier was boiled in the remaining broth. As we were too full, we politely declined the fish head and tail when we were asked if we wanted these. And a tasty porridge was made with the addition of rice, deep fried beancurd, spring onion and egg. In fact, the broth became a little too rich as it was slightly salty. I finished my (one) bowl of porridge nonetheless. And I absolutely enjoyed the deep-fried beancurd. But don’t attempt eating it before it’s boiled in the broth. It’s meant to be boiled. We didn’t know and my friend attempted eating one before it went into the broth. It was hard and tasteless. Haha.

11) Sour plum drink (above) – Served as a palette cleanser.

12) Mango pudding with coconut ice cream (above) – Though our menu did not show any dessert, the waiting staff asked if we wanted some. And since there’s always space for dessert, we agreed. This was pretty average with some mango chunks and sago.

It was an experience to steamboat without having to cook. Which can be a good thing cause more than often when one steamboat, one would find oneself busy cooking. With this, the time used to ensuring there’s a constant supply of cooked food can be used to catch up with friends, etc. Although having someone to do the cooking meant taking away the fun of steamboat-ing.

It was also a little restrictive to have a stranger in the room cause my friend and I couldn’t talk freely. Even when we knew we wouldn’t be seeing the waiting staff again. So it was nice when our waiting staff would step out of the room in between cooking the dishes to give us our privacy.

So is Man Fu Yuan steamboat for everyone? Definitely not. But if one decides to come… For the VIP treatment and quality of food served? It certainly justified the $180 spent.

80 Middle Road, Intercontinental Hotel, Singapore
6825 1008, Website
Overall: 8
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Mon – Sun : 11:45 – 15:30 (Lunch)
Ambience: 8
Mon – Sun : 18:30 – 22:30 (Dinner)
Value: 8
Service: 8