Maggie Fu Smithdown
Its website proclaims “authentic Chinese food”, but the menu at Maggie Fu’s stretches way beyond the borders of the People’s Republic, and the bustling open kitchen serves up plenty more than just its classic stir fries with rice, dim sum dumplings and steamed bao buns.
There are oodles of soul-soothing Pad Thai and ramen or udon noodle soup bowls plus Singapore vermicelli and choices of gyoza, originally hailing from Japan. There are also Japanese katsu, plus Thai green and Malaysian curries, all with plain rice as standard and fried rice or soft noodles as an alternative at a little extra cost. There’s much to satisfy the vegetarian customer, from vegetable spring roll and steamed dumpling starters to tofu and vegetable noodles or sweet potato curry with rice. There’s definitely much for the meat-eaters among you, and the three meat roast has got to be one of the winners in this race: sliced roast duck, roast chicken and char sui pork served with rice and seasonal vegetables – think Chinese spring greens, choy sum or pak choi. It’s a dish packed with flavour, full of healthy vibes and a tenner for the lot. For your salt and pepper fix – c’mon, we know you too well – you can choose between chicken and king prawns (one of a number of seafood numbers, including wok-fried sea bass with chilli and garlic), served with rice, fried rice or soft noodles. Categorically no chips. There’s also salt and pepper ribs and salt and pepper sui mai in the appetisers.
Keep up the authenticity trip with a bottle of Tsing Tao or Tiger beer, or a half or pint of draught Asahi. There’s cider, wine and fizz too, alongside pop. For desserts, there are various flavours of frozen yoghurt, including mango, mixed berry and pistachio, just right to finish.
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