PROFILE BY BEST RESTAURANTS
In an unassuming commercial strip of Rathdown Street, just south of the shiny gleam of North Carlton's Rathdowne Village, is this little gem of a restaurant. Fu Lu enjoys a throng of regular customers (you can almost see the order being written down before it is even uttered), including quiet bookish types from the Saturday poetry readings at the Dan O'Connell Pub and families with kids. Fu Lu was established in 1981 with chef John Xie joining in 1997. Owned and run by Mei Yan Xie for the last three years, it has made at least one former Carlton local cross the city from Essendon for his fix of Fu Lu special fried rice.
Most popular dishes on the menu according to both John and Mei are the crunchy chicken fillet with prawn crackers and the crunchy pepper squid with vegetables. Personal favourites include the beef in oyster sauce, garlic prawn and the hefty combination soup. Prices range from $9-$14.50 for rice and noodle dishes and $3-$5 for soups. There are also some vegetarian options. Fu Lu is available for bookings (recommended if you wish to visit in a group on weekend evenings), but keep in mind it's a small space and not suitable for groups larger than 8 or 9. You can also call ahead to place your order ready for pickup.