When a chef leaves a high-profile restaurant, alarm bells often ring. And so, when Singaporean chef Akmal Anuar left much-touted Zengo after being brought in with plenty of fanfare, we wondered what would become of the restaurant and the man from the kitchen.
While Zengo rumbles on in much the same vein as before, in November, Anuar reappeared with 3 Fils, this time without so much as a Tweet to announce it.
Fast-forward a couple of months, and with word of mouth getting out about the tiny, unlicensed venue at Jumeirah Fishing Harbour, we find ourselves inside for lunch.
It really is small, with only around 25 seats inside and a few tables outdoors overlooking the gently swaying boats. The two chefs are parked in one corner, preparing each dish ordered from scratch.
Staff are just lovely, explaining the brief menu and confirming that there are always a few daily specials (make sure you ask about these). We’re delighted that the food delivers, too.
Scorched yellowtail is just that, presented simply and dressed with ginger and sumac. It’s delicious and over too quickly. The crispy eel tempura rolls have added richness from foie gras and sweetness from yellow pepper. They’re a marvel of texture and taste. Over to the Fremantle octopus, and it looks absolutely stunning, all charred and caramelised and served on an smooth leek and potato purée. It tastes just as good, too. And the tomato and strawberry dessert simply needs to be tried to be believed.
Everything we eat is amazing and the experience is relaxed, friendly and good value. 3 Fils went on to win our Newcomer — Casual Dining award last month, and for good reason.
The Bill (for two) 1x yellowtail scorced Dhs43 1x crispy eel sushi roll Dhs33 1x Freemantle octopus Dhs50 1x yellowtail scorched Dhs43 1x The tomato that wants to be a strawberry Dhs30 Total (excluding service) Dhs199
The bottom line Go now. We promise you won’t regret it.