While the weather outside play a bit of a hide and seek, let me distract you with a review of a sumptuous meal that was also surprisingly very healthy I had last week at one of the Dubai’s newly opened restaurant. Now, the place which I am going to talk about in this post need no introduction. Situated inside the nerve center of Dubai’s business core that is Dubai International Financial Center, Fukurou House though opened in January this year is quickly catching up with the masses considering it serves anything but ordinary. As you enter the main entrance of DIFC, walk straight ahead and you’ll be captivated by the glass doors with pictures of an owl amidst the cool black designs glaring at you. Then the things that instantly catch your attention will be pink-tinted lights, white cushioned furniture, gold chandeliers and the overall warmth of the restaurant that’s so intimate, it instantly make you feel comfortable and at home. While on the left, a wall is adorned with beautiful art paintings, on the right corner is an in-house boutique displaying some of the wonderful hand-made creations of the artists from around the world . Fukurou House believes in promoting local artists and supporting local food, arts and culture scene in whatever small manner possible. And that could easily be well noted by the events they plan every few weeks like that of Women Empowerment, Emirati Exposed, Women Leadership to name a few.
We were greeted by the ever-so passionate Armen, a managing partner of Fukurou House cruising through the restaurant paying attention to details on each table. The moment you’ll meet this man, he will have so much to tell you about his passion, the ideas, motivation behind this intuitive concept and stories, you’ll never tire hearing him out while still ogling on the cleverly garnished cutlery. All you have to do is wait for the surprises to unfold in each and every dish as you work up your knife and fork.
The surprise that I am going to reveal is nothing but very adept use of fruits in 90 percent of the dishes served at Fukurou House. I can’t even begin to explain in words how wittily the fruits have been used in certain dishes like that of Salmon roll, Meatballs and Strawberry Salsa we ate that day (more on these below). Amazingly heroic points to the Chef for playing with such a brave idea! The restaurant prides itself in presenting contemporary food in style and serving healthy food to all its diners. What intrigued my interest more before we started our meal was in knowing that Armen exclusively goes to the market every day to buy the freshest organic produce, pick up fish from the fish markets each morning and also has a tie up with UAE farmers so that he doesn’t compromise on the quality of the ingredients. All positive points there since we know how important it is to buy local, not only for our system but for the farmers living here as well. While I spoke to him about all this it conjured my memories from a visit to Organic Oasis farm a couple of months back. The menu isn’t very large at Fukurou House, yet what it compiles are healthy and flavorful dishes intelligently curated by the Chef and all this come at a very moderate price compared to other restaurants in the city offering the same.
Getting back to our meal from the evening, we were first served non-alcoholic white wine on the table and fresh orange juice for Little A, our choice completely. OK I don’t have much knowledge on wines and it’s counterparts, but a non-alcoholic version we had at Fukurou House was to the point, gentle and not very strong on our throat.
We sipped it with our first appetizer that was Caviar Trio well mingled with beetroot, eggplant and apple! It came with Lavash – an Armenian flat bread rolled and crisped to the point carrying flavor of its own. Super good to start with!
Husband and I were still beginning to appreciate the caviar, when next up came the plates of Chicken Carrot and Minced Beef Pancakes for each of us including Little A. Tender pieces of chicken breast were rolled in spicy crunchy pancakes with all the goodness of carrots, onion and coriander. We aren’t usually very keen on beef but loved the preparation of beef and rice in crunchy pancakes – smoky meat didn’t bother us at all about where it came from. These were served with fresh strained yoghurt topped with walnuts and dill. Another winner for sure!
One dish which is quite a dominant and must try in my opinion is this Smoked Salmon Roll that has all the ingredients to make you go weak in the knees. A bang on spectacular dill smoked salmon with bits of orange, capsicum and avocado thrown in a lettuce wrap and neatly rolled in Vietnamese style rice paper rolls served with a light sauce carrying hints of lemongrass, lime and ginger. A very impressive appetizer having the tartness from the fruits and herbs yet leaving a distinct taste of salmon that made each bite so delicious. Perfect to share between two.
Each dish at Fukurou stands out on its own. One of those is this simplistic Classic Beef Flatbread – topped with beef, garlic and fresh herbs cooked in tomato sauce to nibble upon in between the orders. A very crisp take on European tradition!
Three Cheese Ravioli just blew me away and I am so upset the picture doesn’t even do any justice to the magnificent dish that it is. The pink color of the dough is all natural that comes from beetroot (so impressive!) and is stuffed with high quality goat cheese mixed with roasted nuts served aside warm Parmesan and Blue Cheese Sauce. Can this get any better? Couldn’t help but appreciate the brilliant use of goat cheese shavings and strong rosemary sprig placed on the bowl as a garnishing, which ofcourse was gnawed upon without guilt. There are six pieces of pasta served in a dish that should be good for two if you are indulging in other offerings from the menu.
Just when we thought we blessed our tummies with too much generosity in one day, Armen got us a succulent Oven Baked Chicken and Beef Meat Balls, a special signature dish served at Business Lunch. He poured molasses made from maple syrup and soy on beef and thick orange syrup on chicken; all that I did at the time was look in amazement. Never had I thought the pairing would be so vivacious. Call it crazy however the flavors from the sauces married superbly with the meat leaving specks of tangyness and sweetness in the dish as a whole.
Our last savory dish was Smoked Salmon over a bed of Strawberry Salsa looked divine when placed on the table. We were in awe of the fish so fresh and grilled to a T. A generous portion of strawberry salsa had beautiful combinations of the fruit and basil with piquant tartness from the vinegar; added a dash of beauty to already perfectly seared fish.
We couldn’t have left without tasting a dessert even though we were so full by the end of smoked salmon. Fukurou House does a very unique twist to the original carrot cake and present layers of whipped cream and nuts between Carrot Crepes . Now, I ain’t a big fan of crepes to be honest, but the cake leaves a mild flavor of cinnamon and nuttiness with each bite which we absolutely loved!
The entire experience of dining at Fukurou House left us with refreshing memories otherwise where else would you find such fresh flavors (you can surely know about the authenticity as you eat) at such moderate prices and a place that not only serves food but also caters to the importance of organic produce and demand for art culture in the city?
Location : Dubai International Financial Center, Ground Floor.
Website – http://www.fukurouhouse.com/#home
Contact – +971 4 552 1540
Disclaimer : We were guests at Fukurou House, however all the opinions and views stated above are entirely unbiased and my own.