Review: Head to Madame Fu for Instagram-friendly decor and drinks

Stepping into Madame Fu is like stepping back in time to a grand colonial era. Taking up the entire 8,000 sq.ft of the third floor of the Barracks block at Tai Kwun heritage centre, its long verandahs, cheerful lanterns, plush upholstery, velvet couches, private dining rooms all carefully recreate a slice of the bygone empire.

Madame Fu

With the restaurant separated into seven equally glamorous sections – the Instagrammable Pink Room, the Parisian Grand Cafe, the exclusive tasting room The Artist, the decadent Whisky Lounge, the private Library, the burlesque Fu Bar and the colourful Red & Blue Verandahs, what unifies the space is the unmistakable feeling of luxury that permeates through every nook and corner. Yet, thanks to the creative genius of designer Christian Rhomberg, nowhere does it feel like a stiff-upper-lipped formal space, instead, it is as good for a casual tête-à-tête as it is for a special occasion.

Madame Fu

While the decor has a European vibe to it, the menu however is distinctly Cantonese, putting a modern spin on traditional dishes.  First up was the dim sum platter, with crystal shrimp dumpling, mushroom and black truffle dumpling, char siu bao, and seafood and honey pea dumpling. While the char siu bao and seafood dumplings were more style than substance, the true highlight here was the mushroom and black truffle dumpling, with the rich aftertaste of the truffle lingering in the mouth long after the dumpling had been consumed.

Of the mains, the Iberico Char Siu was a near-perfect combination of sweet succulence and a slightly charred crunchy finish. Meanwhile, the wood ear mushrooms with chilli oil and Shanxi vinegar was quite mild in taste with a hint of umami flavours. Vegetarians may also like the evenly charred wok-tossed broccoli spears with garlic, while the carb lovers will surely find the egg fried wild rice with seasonal vegetables to be a go-to comfort food.  

But while the food at Madame Fu is sophisticated and contemporary, but never too experimental, it’s the drinks that took us by surprise with their innovation,  presentation and perfect balance of flavours. We would particularly recommend Good Fellas to whisky lovers and Madame Fox for sake loyalists. There’s also Madame Fu’s Mystery, with secret ingredients, that may appeal to those who want a dash of enigma along with their drink. We, for one, won’t sip and tell…

Madame Fu Grand Cafe Chinois, 3/F, Block Three, Tai Kwun, No. 10 Hollywood Road, Central,

Text: Suchetana Mukhopadhyay