Defying easy categorisation, Fümé is a modern, minimalist eatery that is undoubtedly much better in reality than it must have sounded as a concept – and that’s just the décor. The blend of concrete walls, Scandinavian furniture, 1950s Americana accessories and huge plate-glass windows overlooking the Marina somehow works, as does the eclectic menu of smoked and slow-cooked dishes, all designed for sharing, from around the world. According to Operations Manager Angelo Rosato, the goal is “food nostalgia”.
Irrespective of the slightly contrived quirkiness, it’s the quality of the produce that lives longest in the memory. This is evident from the impossibly good smoked-mackerel pate, an early crowd pleaser that arrives in a small can and is served with shards of rustic toast. The lightly fried calamari is enhanced by a piquant chilli sauce, while the steak tartare is a soft, rich delight.
The highlights continue to come, including the hot oak-smoked salmon, which is perhaps the signature dish. The lamb shank pie, complete with protruding bone, tastes like roast dinners from childhood, the braised beef cheek is a warm, tender embrace, while the grilled whole sea bream is a meaty, smoky dish that disappears too quickly. All of it, frankly, is way too good to share.
There isn’t room for dessert, of course, but it’s worth finding that extra stomach for the apple and rhubarb crumble, or at least a scoop or three of their homemade gelato.
With all of the smoking done onsite, and the use of coconut husks imported from Bali to impart the incredible flavour to the meat and fish, there is an undeniably appealing backstory to Fümé. But it’s the food that remains the star attraction. The latest addition to Pier 7’s gastronomical skyscraper is a where an informal bite might swallow up an entire evening.
Fümé, Pier 7, Dubai Marina, +971 4 421 5669, fume-eatery.com