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In the more than two years that Fusia has been open, they’ve established themselves as a sophisticated, elegant, Asian-fusion, fine-dining restaurant. Located along the Mandalay Place corridor joining the Luxor to Mandalay Bay, Fusia is separated from the corridor by a half-wall, as well as some decorative tree branches. From their sign outside, to the décor within, Fusia exudes a calming, relaxed influence. The foyer leading into the restaurant and the bar features custom lamps with shades that are festooned with dragonflies. The interior is understated, with red fabric-covered chairs and faux marbled, cork-topped tables. The lighting is subdued, and the walls are adorned with lighting, staggered on honey-hued wooden shelves. Between the lighting and the fabrics, as well as the careful use of Japanese screens to partition parts of the restaurant, the multi textural theme is inviting, as well as a feast for the eyes. The tables are set with square white plates, topped with a neatly folded black linen napkin, and red chopsticks. It’s clean, neat, and not too fussy.
We dine at Fusia on a Wednesday evening. Fusia is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, though the bar remains open. Gerard, our host, greets us when we arrive, and is a wonderful guide, making us very comfortable. As Fusia opens promptly at six, Gerard shows us into the bar, and retrieves us when our table is ready. He also introduces our server, Sheri, and leaves us in her capable hands. She inquires what order we’d like our food delivered, and is more than helpful at making recommendations on the menu.
Executive Chef Gerald Trujillo places any traditional notions of "Asian" cuisine firmly on their heads with his modern spin on classic dishes. Asian and French marry well in many dishes, combining techniques of one culture with ingredients and sauces from another. Mongolian Wok Beef, steaks with Bernaise or Bordelaise sauces, Surf & Turf sushi, or, in true fusion style, Yuzu Beurre Blanc - all of these lend their culture and flavors to Fusia to create the harmony present in both their dishes and their setting.
The wine list at Fusia is not overwhelming. It's neatly divided into categories on the regular menu, which also mentions 'additional wine selections available upon request.' The wine list features more domestics than imports, and all wines available by the glass are also available by the bottle.
Our first three courses are delivered together. Presentation helps set Fusia apart from other restaurants – the food is beautiful. We begin with Hot and Sour Soup. It is served in an asymmetrical bowl, and accompanied by Shrimp Toast. The soup is piping hot; the aroma is thick and pungent. Unlike many hot and sour soups I’ve tried, this soup is clear, not murky. It’s packed with mushrooms and tofu, and garnished with long slivered green onions. This soup is as delicious as it is visually pleasing. The mushrooms are in large pieces, and the soup is fresh and wonderful, with all the flavors very vibrant.
Another dish brought at the same time is the Chef’s Dim Sum Sampler. I have a weakness for dim sum, and Fusia’s is a hit. It’s pretty, plated uniquely, and tastes rich and diverse, with the addition of their signature dipping sauces. The sampler is served in three square white dishes on a platter, and arrives with three dipping sauces. One sauce is peanut, another curry, and the third is a soy ginger sauce. One dish of dim sum is Pork Shu-Mai. It is contained in a won ton wrapper, and garnished with slivers of red and green pepper. The second dim sum dish contains Shrimp Dumplings. The final dish holds Spiced Napa Cabbage Beef Rolls. Each of the dumplings is distinctly different; some are fried, other steamed. The pork shu-mai is meaty, and each component, from the ginger to the garlic, sings a different note. The shrimp dumplings are garnished with a twig mounted in each one, and the texture of the filling is silky and smooth. The cabbage beef rolls are steamed, and the beef is soft and tender. The cabbage lends its own unique flavor as well.
The star of the initial dishes, however, hails from their Maki menu. We ordered a Surf & Turf Roll. It arrives at our table at the same time as the soup and dim sum. This combines the pretty and crunchy parts of sushi, along with the naughty fried, beefy aspects of a traditional surf & turf meal. The roll has tempura shrimp, enoki mushrooms, and cucumber. If this isn’t enough, it is topped with melt-in-your-mouth tender tataki beef, and perfectly caramelized onions. The final touch is a ginger garlic ponzu sauce, drizzled on the top. It is accompanied by the usual wasabi and pickled ginger. My dinner companion, not a sushi fan, became one of the converted with this dish. The tempura shrimp is light, and the beef so very tender, as soft as a carpaccio. The onions on top lend a sweet, soft accent to the whole dish. This is flavorful, and as beautiful to view as it is savory and rich to eat. This was a ‘can’t stop eating’ dish, and I can’t recommend it strongly enough.
After we finished these dishes, our plates and silverware were replaced, and our final dishes arrived. A family style sized bowl of Thai Spiced Egg Noodles was placed on our table, followed by Two Styles of Char Siu Duck. The dish of noodles is obscenely large, and features buttery soft noodles, seasoned with a mildly spicy oyster-garlic sauce. It’s also full of julienned vegetables, including peppers, carrots, broccolini and onions. It’s sweet-savory, and a great form of Asian comfort food.
The duck packs a serious one-two punch. It’s served very simply, on a beautiful square white plate. The Char Sui Roasted Duck Breast is on one side of the plate, separated from the Confit Duck Leg in Moo Shu Pancakes by Young Carrots & Asparagus with Ginger. The duck breast is rich, roasted and sliced thick, with a wonderful aroma, and meaty texture. The confit duck leg wrap, though, hits a home run. It is soft and shredded, and the most delectable treat I’ve ever tasted. The duck meat has so much flavor from the process of being cooked in its own juices, and has fallen apart. Even the vegetables on the plate have been prepared with care. They’re cooked but still have texture, and are not overcooked. The asparagus and carrots are still vividly colored, and their taste is fresh and vibrant.
Dining at Fusia was a ‘wild card.’ I had heard nothing about this jewel, pro or con, prior to dining there. Our service was friendly and efficient. The food was top notch, and the ambiance made it an intimate, romantic meal. It was a pleasure from the moment we arrived, until we regretfully left. It was also very reasonably priced. We shared each of the dishes reviewed here, and took food home with us, and still our bill was barely $90. For an elegant, romantic dinner that is truly ‘fine dining,’ Fusia’s strengths are twofold – their food is spot-on great, and their prices are affordable enough for anyone to dine there and not break the bank.
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