Every now and then you walk out of a restaurant and start planning your next visit immediately. And so it was when we left 3 Fils for the first time. The tiny restaurant in the picturesque Jumeirah Fishing Harbour seems to have come from nowhere – at the time of writing there had been no ad campaigns, no press releases about it and no blogger- or Insta-frenzy. That might have all changed, as it has just been named Best Newcomer – Casual Dining at the 2017 Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards.
It opened in November and occupies a spot overlooking the water, with a handful of tables outside and around 30 seats indoors. There are a few staff waiting tables, a couple of chefs, including Akmal Anuar, and that’s it. Anuar opened the venue after leaving Zengo in Grosvenor House Dubai. He was planning to move back to Singapore, but thankfully he met someone who persuaded him to stay and open 3 Fils.
The menu is short and sweet and offers playful takes on Asian street food. But don’t confuse the casual setting and sense of humour for low-end food. Everything is done with precision, flair and utmost respect for the ingredients. There are also daily off-menu specials that are worth asking for.
This dessert is something of an enigma. It’s a strawberry-flavoured tomato. Or is it a strawberry that looks like a tomato? There is an explanation, but we were still as confused as our taste buds at the end of it.
There’s only one thing for it, you’ll have to give it a go yourself.
Dhs30. 3 Fils, Jumeirah Fishing Harbour (056 273 0030).