If you are in the Greater Kailash area, are hungry and don’t want to spend a bomb on a meal, where should you go? Try Fu. It’s right in the M Block Market – an area which certainly deserves a newer, fresher crop of restaurants. And the prices are so low that you’ll wonder if you’re reading right. Best of all, Fu is a bright, peppy, young-at-heart sort of a place that positively begs you to linger for an hour or two.
The menu has Chinese and Malaysian dishes. The two partners who run it are boyishly enthusiastic and don’t seem to have much experience running restaurants, so the downside of eating at Fu is that there is a definite mis-match between planning and execution. The pity of it is that once execution becomes more polished, the partners will have lost their boundless enthusiasm.
The far better of the two sections is the Malaysian one. Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce (Rs 190) actually has a sauce that is cooked as it should be! Most restaurants in Delhi blend their peanut sauce in the mixie, but that’s not correct. Even better is Murtabak (Rs 185) a maida paratha filled with lamb mince flavoured with lemon grass. It’s a full-bodied dish with a touch of spice (like most of Fu’s Malaysian menu) and it’s as authentic as anything you’ll get on the streets of Penang or Kuala Lumpur. Just as wonderful is Kari Ayam Puff (Rs 185) a cross between a pasty and a samosa, deep-fried and with a mélange of spices in the filling. It is under the heading Fried Dim Sum, and it’s probably the best thing in that section.
Sumatran Chicken Rendang is a refined version of a chicken curry a la Malaysia, with a dash of coconut milk. The texture is usually coarse, but in Fu, it has been strained so that the effect is smooth and creamy. The taste, however, is authentic.
There are a couple of loose ends that are begging to be tied. The first is that portion size is not consistent through the meal. Our lion’s head meatballs numbered just three; just about everything else came in fives. The second is that China and Malaysia are the two countries of the meal-in-a-bowl concept: noodle soups, soto ayam, laksa – you name it, it’s either in China or in Malaysia. Yet, on the menu, there is not a single soup! That is a rather puzzling omission.
The Chinese section does fall rather short, though there a couple of trade-offs. First is the price: at those prices, you just don’t expect gastronomy. Second, the partners themselves understand the cuisine; it’s just that they have been unable to find the right staff. Thus, lion’s head meatballs were small round pellets and were unworthy of the name of one of the greatest dimsum to originate from China. The sauce was pure van Chinese: thick and over-salty. Chicken guotie or kothay (Rs 170) fared better, but was still far from perfect. Chicken and sticky rice in a lotus leaf had everything going for it: real lotus leaves, imported short-grain rice, but the kitchen bungled it up, making it too soft.
However, for the sheer vibe it exudes, Fu is well worth a visit.
M 53, First Floor, M Block Market, GK I
Tel: 9650106767, 011-41005221
Open from 12.30 pm to 11.00 pm
Alcohol not served; credit cards accepted
Meal for two: Rs 1,200