By Kathryne Grisim (@foodmuser)
WINNIPEG — My husband caters a few special events each year and when that happens I get kicked out of the kitchen. This created an unexpected opportunity to order in and Fusian Experience (612B Academy Road) immediately came to mind. The phone line went immediately to voice mail so I suspected they were busy on a Saturday evening. Since they are right in our neighbourhood, I nipped over there to place my order in person. Only three of the half dozen tables were occupied but the phone orders were really keeping the kitchen hopping. Owner Lisa Le-Taing (with her husband owner/Chef Chris Taing) took my number and told me that she would phone me when I could return to pick up our fixings. This gave me an opportunity to survey the tiny but sleek restaurant. The bar stools at the open kitchen would be a fun spot to perch in the future.
Oxford dictionary states that “fusion” refers to food or cooking that incorporates elements of diverse cuisines. How would Chef Taing fuse Asian food to our favourites of Mexican and Italian cuisine? We ordered from the Tapas section of the menu which in itself is a fused notion because you may or may not know that tapas are a Spanish manner of eating.
We enjoy lettuce wraps on a regular basis but typically not with sushi rice and lemongrass pork. These were especially crunchy and the ribbons of cucumber and cilantro made them taste sparkling fresh.
Sushi tacos were also stellar with the clean tastes of satiny albacore tuna and mango salsa. In fact, every time we tasted something new our dinner got better and better.
The Hawaiian shrimp nachos knocked dinner right out of the park! Spicy panko shrimp were perfectly teamed with mango and pineapple. The avocado and Gouda added a silky texture, the jalapenos some heat and the wonton crisps had more crunch. We were so crazy for these; we plan to pick them up on a regular basis.
The forbidden risotto was the pièce de résistance. Organic king salmon had been fashioned into a floral bloom and was nestled atop a bed of black rice risotto. Black rice is so packed with nutrition; we should all try to eat it more often. The quail egg added a fabulous pizzazz both visually and in taste.
Fusian Experience is open Tuesday to Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday to Thursday 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday & Saturday 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. There are lunch, tapas, dinner and catering menus available. They are wheelchair accessible and have plenty of parking in the lot behind the restaurant.
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