Time Out Says
The Dusit Residence’s website describes Fusion Lounge as being ‘designed to complement the excellence of restaurants’, but concedes that it does serve appetisers. Having been foiled a few times recently by restaurants whose websites gave entirely incorrect information, Time Out decided to call ahead and find out a bit more. Did it serve food, we wondered hopefully. ‘There are restaurants for that. You want to book a table?’ Nope, we just wanted to hit the bar, actually – does Fusion Lounge serve food? ‘It’s a lobby lounge for coffee, ma’am.’ But does it serve food? ‘I’m sure that can be arranged,’ came the rather cryptic response – and how about alcohol? ‘You want to book a table?’ No, was our by now exasperated reply. Do you serve alcohol? ‘I’m sure, ma’am. Bye!’ And down went the phone.
Thus it was with some trepidation that we approached this hotel, initially on foot until we got tired of wandering the not-quite-built roads and hailed a taxi. On entering the small lobby, we were startled to find a good six or so members of staff, lined up and beaming, welcoming us effusively – and the intensity didn’t end there: the entire evening was peppered with over-the-top, borderline terrifying, service. Upon asking a question (like whether there was any alcohol, which there wasn’t), we would immediately be subjected to an alarming barrage of information, and excessive politeness that made us squirm: even asking for a bottle of water prompted a complicated speech about the many different types of water they had. The woman was absolutely charming and couldn’t have been more attentive, but her eagerness to please quickly became as exhausting for us as it must have been for her.
So, to the name conundrum: let’s tackle the ‘Fusion’ bit first. Well, there’s certainly a multitude of cuisines on the menu (yes, a full, multi-coursed menu, not just appetisers thank you very much) – Thai, Italian and European all battle for your palate – but there was no fusing going on as far as we could see. A passable, modestly sized mussaman curry will suit those who haven’t yet adapted to Dubai portions (three days’ worth of food on one plate), while the Hamburg steak was just a burger with under-cooked green beans and what seemed like shop-bought potato wedges. There was a reasonable selection of fresh juices and flavoured iced teas to wash them down with.
Interiors-wise, in contrast to our expectations, the small, wooden-floored space is completely devoid of mood lighting – it’s more like a brightly lit waiting room, albeit with comfy sofas. Rather than the neutrally painted walls of our own sitting rooms, the area is sectioned off with glass partitions, making it feel like a goldfish bowl – certainly not the place for a romantic tête-à-tête. However, head straight through to the deserted outdoor terrace, and you’ll find a genuinely fabulous location. Set on the water’s edge at Dubai Marina, surrounded by the multi-coloured lights of the surrounding skyscrapers and the water glinting peacefully in the dark, it’s easy to forget momentarily that you’re in the UAE – until, of course, a pneumatic drill – or an over-eager waitress – brings you crashing back into reality.
By Daisy Carrington | 18 Feb 2009
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