I thought I had found my favourite restaurant-filled building, but I think I may have just found Stanley 11’s rival. Fusion 5th Floor, a restaurant with neither an original nor an interesting name yet very original and interesting food, is situated in The Pemberton on Bonham Strand. As soon as I entered the lift and saw the names of all the restaurants, I knew, even before reaching the fifth floor that I would have to return again. And again. And again…
Aside from a couple of positive word-of-mouth reviews, I was unable to find a great deal of information about Fusion 5th Floor online (although thankfully they do have a website), so I had no expectations and thus was pleasantly surprised.
Ambient mood lighting, crisp white tablecloths and gentle music provided a romantic atmosphere, although the outdoor terrace (bar the scourge of mosquitoes which seemed to find me utterly irresistible) was even better; Twinkling fairy lights entwined in beautiful green shrubbery and candlelit tables transport you away from the hectic lifestyle we face every day here in Hong Kong.
For dinner, you can choose either a three-course meal ($458), a four-course meal ($498) or a six- or eight-course tasting menu ($558 or $650 respectively). After a late-ish lunch, we humbly selected the three courses.
Keen to try something I would never order elsewhere, I chose to start with the slow-cooked egg with salted cod, salad of frisee and walnut vinaigrette. The egg was perfectly cooked and the yolk gently broke at the touch of a fork, to coat the salad and the soft chunks of cod, which beautifully contrasted with the crunchy medley of sweet and sharp cherry tomatoes.
The crabmeat salad with scallop, asparagus, baby greens and Thai vinaigrette was equally as delicious, although there were some complaints that there was not enough crab. The scallop was melt-in-the-mouth-delicious and the Thai vinaigrette added an unexpected yet pleasant touch.
On to the mains, the roasted Australian rack of lamb with ratatouille and black pepper sauce was perfectly pink and tender. The ratatouille took on an Asian form with thin slices of raw garlic and slightly al dente vegetables. I would certainly order this dish again.
The chargrilled US Kurobuta pork rack with mixed tomatoes and Vietnamese vinaigrette was devoured within seconds and a desire for more was voiced. The pork was beautifully tender and perfectly complemented by the slightly sharp Vietnamese flavours.
Dessert may be substituted, at an additional $45, for a cheese platter. Unwilling to miss out on either selection, we chose to share one dessert and one cheese platter. The warm chocolate ganache with vanilla gelato was very pleasing with the perfect gooey consistency in the centre.
The cheese platter, though unfortunately not exactly a ‘platter’ as there were only two types of cheese, was the perfect end to the meal; soft creamy camembert and slightly bitter goat’s cheese paired with honey, chutney and red grapes. Needless to say that by the end of it we were certainly, as my lovely grandpa used to say in his charming Nottingham accent, “TTT – tummy touchin’ table.”
This exquisite meal was complemented by a delicious bottle of Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, though you’d expect to be served decent wine when paying almost double the cost of the food! Fusion does offer BYOB however, so it might be worthwhile heading downstairs to Fusion Gourmet to pick up a bottle.
Although the waiters didn’t know the answers to anything we asked them about the food or the wine, they were very attentive and incredibly well mannered, stopping to bow and thank us for thanking them at every opportunity.
Fusion 5th Floor, set up by Friendly Cheung and his wife Deborah, is fine dining without being overly pretentious. This comes as a breath of fresh air as too many restaurants these days in HK can’t seem to get the balance of serving good food with a down to earth attitude. So for somewhere where fusion does not equal disaster and the staff are as friendly as the owner’s name suggests, try Fusion 5th Floor. And then perhaps you, too, will suffer the endless desire to return to this building over and over again.
Fusion 5th Floor
5/F The Pemberton
22-26 Bonham Strand
Tel: +852 2854 1801
Date visited: Saturday 15th October 2011