Fümé: It’s definitely ‘NUT’ a place I will visit AGAIN
I happened to visit Fümé a few months ago (August to be precise). It was a restaurant that caught my fancy thanks to all the photos I saw of the place. The food was a secondary thought – not the right priority order for a food blog I know, but I am a sucker for a restaurant that is quirky, fun and different. Fümé ticked all the boxes in terms of décor.
In order to make this a fair review, I will talk about the restaurant but will also mention the NOT-SO-GOOD experience which occurred at dessert time and later!
Fümé translates to ‘smoked’ in French housed in the vertical dining district Pier 7 at Dubai Marina which has southern American-style smokehouse vibe. This restaurant has no outdoor terrace but with floor to ceiling windows the views are spectacular if you are lucky to get a seat by the window. The reason I say this is because this restaurant has a no reservation policy. To be honest restaurants that have such a policy just irk me as I find them irritating and pretentious. But as I was going to lunch on a weekday I knew I would find a table with relative ease (I am sure this would be quite a different story for anyone planning a PM experience).
The interiors reverberate with a vintage industrial style template that is styled with plenty of exposed fittings, concrete walls and quirky display pieces for a highly individualised and engaging ambience. There is also another indoor bar area – small, with a stark yet cozy feel where you are allowed to smoke.
Now onto the food … The food concept of this restaurant is one of sharing and I loved the playful menu with its clipped clothes hanger that our choices came on. They do tell you at the start, that the food will be served out whenever it’s ready – irrespective of what course it is. So you have been warned!
For a potato lover like me, we ordered for our starter the Triple-cooked potato chips (AED 32). For our mains, I ordered Hot Smoked Salmon with Teriyaki and pickled cucumber (AED 78) and my partner in crime ordered the Buttermilk Fried Chicken with guess Whaaaa sauce (AED 52).
We were lucky in that our orders came in the right order – first the starter followed by our main course. The Potatoes were crispy and absolutely delicious with the freshly made tomato sauce accompaniment. I would go back to just have them J
My salmon was crisp on the outside and flavourful – it was perfectly cooked. The Chicken was average and nothing much to write home about unfortunately.
So far so good I thought… and that’s when things took a nose dive when it was time for dessert.
For those who have followed this blog and know me, know my dessert time is sacrosanct and chocolate is my Achilles heel. So when the menu was brought to me, I asked for something Chocolate-ty without NUTS. The waitress suggested I try the Snickers which clearly had an (n) next to it indicating it had nuts which I politely pointed out to her and reiterated that I do NOT want nuts. After telling me there was nothing on the menu that would fit my non-NUT request, I was pointed in the direction of the blackboard which proudly advertised Molten Caramel Brownies (AED 40) with icecream. I asked the waitress to double check about the NUT ingredient and she confidently said there were none. So, pleased as punch I ordered it.
HORROR! SHOCK! DISSAPOINTMENT – not quite sure in what order these emotions rang out as I took my first bite of the brownie – I tasted NUTS! I called the waitress to tell her there were NUTS and to ask the chef – so off she went and I knew I was right the minute I saw her brisk paced walk back to our table followed by the Manager. When it was confirmed followed by a “Are you allergic to nuts?” question – I had half a mind of saying YES! But I did the right thing and said NO, I was not, I just HATED nuts in my desserts.
My gripe with this was with NUT allergies being an extremely common occurrence today for adults and children alike and with extremely specific and repetitive questions being directed at the staff for NO-NUTS they staff have to be more attentive, caring and knowledgeable. Either Fümé needs to train their staff much more on such health-risk ingredients.
LEARNING: There is no harm in asking the staff to go and double check with the chef, and don’t back down until you see them leave and head in the direction in the kitchen and then pray they actually do go and ask the chef!
I thought that is where it would all end! But NO. The bill came and the staff told us that they had not charged us for the dessert as they had made a mistake and I had not enjoyed it and although we insisted it be put on the Manager was adamant. So my partner paid. Since I was still finishing off my water, he happened to glance at the bill only to realize that the dessert for AED 40 was taken off the bill but a dish we did not have (Fraiche Potatoes for AED 42) was added to the bill. On alerting the staff of this oversight (me and my partner have conflicting views on whether it was an oversight or deliberate) the cash was refunded for the said amount. (I have included the image of the bill as crumpled as it is).
LEARNING: Whichever restaurant you visit, however popular or exclusive, however expensive or value for money – do look at the bill before paying.
I loved the interiors. I loved the daylight streaming into the restaurant. But other than that I am really to say that despite the rave reviews I had read, my experience at Fümé was a total cop out and I can only hope that Fümé realises the importance of training their staff on getting the ingredients in the dishes right (it could be a case of life over death) and then NOT following it up with an incorrect bill.
Location: First floor, Pier 7, Dubai Marina Tel: +971 4 4215569 http://www.fume-eatery.com/
Update: Since I put up my review, Fume has since got in touch with me via email. This is what the Restaurant Manager – Fume had to say –