For months now people have been talking about Fume and I have never really had the chance to go myself. My family love going there and because it’s not too far a trek from home, tend to eat there a fair bit but I always managed to miss out; but not this time!
We went to Fume on Saturday afternoon to celebrate my brother’s birthday – he loves the place – and I was excited to finally see what all the fuss was about. When we arrived I was amazed by the interior, it’s so funky and open with so many little details you don’t necessarily notice immediately. We were welcomed by friendly staff and taken to a table by the window, on seeing the chairs I was a little concerned, they looked incredibly uncomfortable as they are just bare wood and a odd shape, but looks are quite clearly very deceiving because they were really lovely to sit in!
We were given the menus – printed sheets held together by coat hanger type things with food on one side and drinks on the other – and I started to browse. Fume works on a sharing system, all the meals come as they are ready and are placed in the middle of the table for all to nibble on, which I love. So I start having a read of the options and from what I did see there is a great deal of choice across the menu with influences from all over the world, but people knew what they wanted based on previous experience so we ordered.
We ordered some water for the table and one small touch that I very much enjoyed was that the restaurant serves the water in glass bottles that are refilled rather than having nasty plastic bottles cluttering up the table – it’s just the little things that make a difference really. I also ordered an apple & elderflower mojito to accompany my water, and while the only salute to a mojito was the mint leaf placed decoratively on the surface, the drink was really quite lovely if not a little to heavy handed on the lime – I can’t say I picked up much of the elderflower cordial through all the acidity.
Soon after the arrival of the drinks the first plates turned up, fishcakes, edemame beans with xo sauce (what ever that may be), a naked crab salad and a sea bream dish of which of course all I at were the beans and the fishcakes (allergy joys) but I have to say, the fish cakes were really delicious, totally full of fish and herbs that all worked beautifully together however they were a little bit drier than I would have expected, but maybe that was just what ever type of fish it was made with.
Soon after the first few plates arrived more started appearing, we had a beef brisket bun which the boys took down in seconds and from what I heard it seemed to have been quite delicious. There was a mac and cheese that I had heard wonderful things about but I have to say I wasn’t overly impressed with, it was a very runny sauce that didn’t have much of a cheese flavour and I felt what ever was there was overwhelmed slightly by the heavy use of nutmeg – now with a mother raised in South Africa, I too have grown up making my mac and cheese with nutmeg in it, but just a hint, it shouldn’t really taste like christmas. The crispy duck and watermelon salad was probably one of the best dishes of the day, the flavours worked so beautifully together with the freshness of the melon and the smokiness of the crisp duck pieces, it was like an Asian inspired bowl of summer!
There was also a meatball dish on the table that I didn’t actually try any of but from what the table was saying the meat was delicious and juicy so it seemed to have been a great choice, as was the honey and chilli marinated chicken which comes as a whole or half a chicken chopped up into servable bits. The meat was super moist – as was the skin which as a personal preference doesn’t do it for me but that’s just me being picky – the flavours had permitted through the whole bird and so with every bite you were hit with this wonderful combination of sweet and spicy and smokey, it really was wonderful. With the crunchy green beans we had ordered the soft juicy chicken just worked so wonderfully!
On the strong recommendation of the rest of our table I tried the smashed potatoes that were served with veal bacon and creme freche, but I have to admit I was a little disappointed, I found that the potatoes had a bit of a bitter skin from how they had been cooked and there was a definitive lack of seasoning – in all honesty, veal bacon is not salty enough to make up for a lack lustre use of sea salt.
My brother had ordered the prawn dish which never actually turned up at the table – apparently this happens regularly here, so I have been told – but I am not sure anyone at the table would have had space for the little sea creatures anyway! However I did eat smart.
In my short perusal of the menu I did see, and it had been recommended to me, a lemon meringue tart on the dessert menu and I am a sucker for it, so I made sure I had room to indulge at the end because it had to be done! So around the table we decided on a lemon tart and a banoffee parfait (both of which came in jars) and one of the carmel brownies that was on the specials board. They arrived looking almost too good to eat but let’s not be ridiculous, it didn’t take long before we all stuck our spoons in. The lemon meringue was super tart with very little to help cut the sour flavour but it was still really fantastic, the banoffee was apparently wonderful, with some form of peanuts in it adding a whole new level of taste to the dessert and the brownie disappeared in seconds so I am going to assume it was pretty tasty.
Overall I have to say we all left satisfied, the staff were lovely and attentive, although we did end up with someone else’s food at our table twice during the meal, and I would most probably go back again, but I’m not sure I can really understand the hype.
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