Fusion (New Restaurant) in Flemington, NJ
- ambrose May 11, 2007 06:28 AM
We went to this new restaurant last Sunday and enjoyed it very much. It's been open less than a month, hasn't done much advertising yet but seems to be doing well. We don't usually make reservations on a Sunday evening but in this case I'm glad we did. The restaurant was almost full when we arrived around 7 PM, which turned out to be the peak period.
The chef here is from Nepal but he has worked in restaurants around the globe, including the Hilton in NYC. We also heard he has worked in Hawaii and on cruise lines. The food, as you might expect, focuses on Asian cuisine but it has a decidedly French accent. Menu items included dishes from India, China, Indonesia and Thailand. I noticed some dishes that appeared to be strictly Thai but we did not have any of those.
The food was exceptionally good and the prices were very fair. Considering that the restaurant is still in start-up mode, service was more than acceptable. We did find, however, that our server had a tendency to try to bluff his way through questions about the menu, the chef's background, etc. "I don't know" would have worked!
We will definitely go back here. The restaurant is at the corner of Main and Mine, in a building that has been recently renovated. There is a new art gallery next door.
Thanks for posting this! I just heard about a new restaurant on Main but didn't even know what the name of it was (don't get downtown that often.) Can't wait to try it!
RGR, apologies for the very belated response but I somehow missed your post.
Since we had had a midafternoon "sweet", our dinner at Fusion was relatively simple. My friend had a basic green salad (listed as Shanghai Greens on the menu) while I opted for a papaya salad. In both cases, the ingredients were very fresh and not overpowered by dressing. While papaya salad is a feature on many Thai menus, this one was more of a "variation on a theme" that I enjoyed very much.
As an entree, I had the Phuket Bay Diver Scallops. These were cooked to perfection and were, in my opinion, better than the scallops at the Tewksbury Inn (my reference point for scallops). The name of the dish was the only thing that was faintly Thai. It was not in any way spicy and the vegetable sides were typical of what you would get with any seafood dish.
My friend went for Kung Menam, a house special consisting of sauteed jumbo shrimp with lemon grass and a veggie ratatouille. This was probably the closest thing to a true Thai dish that we had but even here the "fusion" thing was apparent. I snuck one of the shrimp and was surprised at how tasty it was. Too often, jumbo shrimp have virtually no flavor.
One thing I neglected to mention in my original post was that our server didn't see to know how to handle our bottle of white wine. I asked for an ice bucket but received a rather lame excuse that they didn't have any ice buckets yet. Based on some of his other comments, I think he was just winging it. He offered instead to keep our bottle in the fridge and bring it our as needed during our meal. I decided to just keep the bottle on the table and this worked out OK.
One other thing - the menu in the restaurant is much more extensive than the on-line version. I don't know why this is but large sections, including the true Thai dishes, are not shown in the on-line menu. Rather annoying to say the least. AND, no prices on-line, which I know is one of your pet peeves.
Just saw this review of Fusion on Main, which appeared in the Star Ledger. It's fairly positive although the reviewer had several issues with the service. We did not experience these specific problems but it looks like it might be a good idea to avoid Friday and Saturday nights until the service issues are ironed out. As noted, we went on a Sunday night and arrived after the rush.
Very nice review of Fusion on Main in last week's Time Off magazine. I agree that service at this restaurant has improved dramatically since it opened some three years ago. I cannot agree, however, with the statement that the sound level is "comfortable". We still avoid the restaurant on weekend nights; the noise can be deafening.
Regarding the very negative comments below, it's worth noting that this post was alrutt's one and only on Chowhound.
Just ate at Fusion last weekend and am going to post my first review ever on Chowhound. That's how moved I was by the experience.
This was truly, from start to finish, as bad a dining experience as I've had in years. I won't bore you with every detail but I'll start with the service. The waiter was extremely courteous and it wasn't his fault but the food took FOREVER. We also asked for different things a number of times - for example, an ice bucket for the beer and wine - and never got them. After we had waited an hour the waiter came out to apologize and say that it would be 10 more minutes because the computers were down in the kitchen. Then, five minutes later as we were groaning, he came out to apologize again and say that it would be 20 more minutes.
The appetizers were bad. All the standard dim sum dishes were tasteless. The fried rice was fine.
The entrees were beyond belief. When I was a child, before my taste buds had become as world travelled and sophisticated as they are now, I frequently ate spaghetti with ketchup. The Pad Thai - I would bet my house - had to have been made with ketchup. It was god awful. I haven't eaten anything like it since, well, I was about 8 and I cooked myself dinner. The sea bass was dreadful. There was some lobster dish that tasted like cream puffs.
Additionally, they brought two dishes to the table putting one in front of one person saying "your pad thai," and another in front of someone else saying "your pad see yew." We took a few bites and realized they were the same dish! (The ketchup pad thai - with chicken.) When we called the waiter over and pointed this out, he apologized but it seemed obvious that they knew what they were doing. Then he came back with a different version of the same dish - with crab - and asked if we wanted it on the house. We declined.
Maybe they were having a bad night? Don't take the chance. Flemington has a McDonald's. Stay away from Fusion.
Went by last week and saw the space for rent. Found out that it closed its doors at the end of Dec 2010. Have eaten there three times; once within opening week when the service was impeccable and the food outstanding; returned several months later and found the same. The last time I was there was 2 years ago and the portion size had gotten smaller while the prices went up. The wait time for the food was also very long. There were four of us and when our order arrived, we couldn't remember who ordered what.
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