By Sarah Townsend
The Dubai Marina venue is ideal for those on a deadline and don't have much time to spare
One of the problems of so-called “business lunches” at restaurants is that by the time you’ve sat down, perused the menu and ordered, half an hour has gone by and you need to think about returning to the office. Sure, most offer a scaled-back menu but they still tend to be traditional main courses that take longer to prepare than the time you have available.
Which is why the sharing dishes on offer at Fumé’s business lunch are a refreshing idea. Crucially, they don’t take too long to eat. When I visited the restaurant recently, at Pier 7 in Dubai Marina, I had the added problem of having to juggle my lunch hour with nipping back and forth to a new flat for wifi installation and other such administrative tasks.
I’m pleased to say that I managed to do all of those and enjoy a delicious working lunch in little more than an hour (minus the time spent drinking the introductory ‘mocktails’ with which we were greeted on arrival).
Fumé launched its business lunch last month. It’s reasonably priced – you can either select one dish for AED35 ($9.52) (the same as a take-out salad in one of the more expensive Media City sandwich joints) or two dishes and a coffee for AED65.
Dishes are light and fresh, for example, quinoa salad with feta and pickled radish, chargrilled asparagus and slow-roasted beetroot with horseradish dressing. If you’re hungry, more substantial options include ciabatta sandwiches with roasted eggplant or crispy jumpo soft-shell crab – which sounded lovely but sadly wasn’t available on the day I went – and a hearty Malaysian laksa curry. The latter was delicious – piping hot, generous helpings of meaty prawns and fresh pak choi and a smooth coconut soup with just the right amount of spice.
Ordering a selection of these dishes between you and your lunch companions would more than fill you up, while still being tasty and good value. The waiters bring all the dishes at once, which is very time effective. There are no dessert options on the business lunch menu, but I did not feel this was necessary.
The one dish that failed to impress was a minute steak with chimu-churri and french fries. The fries were soaked in grease and the steak was far too anaemic to be appetising. In fact, the meat looked a bit like the sort of thin turkey medallion to which I would give a wide berth during boarding school dinners. I did the same at Fumé.
I think, and hope, that this dish was an anomaly as the rest of the meal was very enjoyable – all the more so for the restaurant’s fabulous setting overlooking the marina. There is no outside area but high ceilings and an industrial design, as well as one wall made entirely from glass, means the venue feels light and airy, which is perfect for a lunchtime outing.
One dish AED35
Two dishes and coffee AED65
12pm-4pm (business lunch)