Fümé in Dubai serves wholesome food from around the world

Fümé, the laid-back restaurant in Dubai Marina’s Pier 7, doesn’t just pride itself on its “wholesome food from around the world” concept – it gets it absolutely right.
Fümé in Dubai Marina, Pier 7. Courtesy Fume
Fümé in Dubai Marina, Pier 7. Courtesy Fume

It generally helps when a restaurant picks one cuisine and sticks with it, but Fümé, the laid-back restaurant in Dubai Marina’s Pier 7, doesn’t just pride itself on its “wholesome food from around the world” concept – it gets it absolutely right.

Located on the first floor of Pier 7, Fümé is equal parts industrial and vintage. Exposed black pipes line the ceiling, rusted metal legs hold up vintage wooden tables, and floor-to-ceiling windows provide stunning views of the marina.

On Fümé’s menu you’ll find Indonesian beef cheek rendang with paratha; classic American mac and cheese; Korean spiced lamb cutlets; and a crispy duck and watermelon salad. I was slightly overwhelmed as I tried to figure out what kind of wholesome food of the world I wanted.

I started with perfectly baked sourdough bread with a tough, chewy crust around an airy interior. It came with smoked butter and crunchy black lava salt (sea salt blended with activated charcoal). Fumé means “smoked” in French and this butter did justice to the word – the more of it I slathered on my bread, the more I grew to love the heavy smoked flavour.

Up next were the mushroom empanadas, a Latin American dish. Four small crispy parcels of bread were stuffed with green peas and black fungus and button mushrooms, fish sauce and garlic. They were mild and bordered on boring, but were saved by the sweet and hot smoked sauce they came with.

Sauces seem to be a speciality of Fümé’s head chef Grant Brunsden, who has created each dish on Fümé’s menu. Importantly, everything is made in his kitchen, right down to the smoked ketchup and mayonnaise. Many restaurants think of sauces and condiments as an afterthought, but this is where Fümé shines. With this in mind, I gave a lot of thought to my main dish before ordering. There are non-smoked dishes on offer, but since this restaurant specialises in smoked dishes, I chose the pulled beef brisket bun. The brisket is smoked low and slow for 16 hours. The result is juicy, tender strips of brisket piled high on a fat, soft bread roll. It was swimming in thin, peppery, slightly sweet sauce that had a bit of a kick. Alert: this is a messy meal, but it’s well worth the extra napkins you’ll be calling for.

For dessert, I chose a classic with a local flavour: banana and date cake served with custard and vanilla ice cream – the dense, moist cake was set atop thin, buttery caramel sauce that was so smooth and rich, I wanted a whole bowl of it. The thin vanilla custard that is poured over the dessert was a perfect addition – a silky, creamy, moreish liquid that was good enough to drink. And I did.

A meal for one at Fümé, Pier 7, Dubai Marina, costs Dh185. For more information, call 04 421 5669. Reviewed meals are paid for by The National and conducted incognito

sjohnson@thenational.ae

Published: December 24, 2014 04:00 AM

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