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Fusion of flavour

Sherie Holder-Olutayo

Fusion of flavour

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Not every restaurant lives up to its name, but Fusion is different; it is what it says it is. Fuse, which literally means to bring together, is what this restaurant does as it blending Japanese, Thai and Cantonese cuisine.
The restaurant, the brainchild of local businessman Maneesh Panjwani, developed Fusion to fill a void.
 “I came up with the idea for the restaurant because there was no one on the island at the time that was doing sushi,” he said. “Plus there was no real lounge in Barbados, so we decided to incorporate all of that and it has worked.”
What has also worked is the locals’ reception of Asian cuisine.
“We do a better business with locals,” Panjwani said. “I wasn’t surprised at all that they took to the sushi.
Another aspect of the cuisine that caught on is the notion that patrons share food.
“It’s not single portions for individuals.
“Basically our concept is to share,” he said. “So three people can share a dish. You can sit down in the lounge and order appetisers and share with one another.”
For a restaurant whose main feature is fish, being situated so close to the local fish market is especially convenient.
“There’s always an abundance of fresh fish, and the chefs just love it,” he adds.
Restaurant patrons have really gravitated to the cuisine, embracing the mix of spices and succulent sauces that often accompany many of the dishes.
“One of my favourites is the Chicken Manchurian, a Cantonese dish. It has all these different flavours in it and you’re in heaven if you’re a chicken eater. It also has a great blend of spices.”
Naturally, the chefs at Fusion have a mix of locally grown herbs and spices to infuse the flavours of their dishes. According to Panjwani, lemongrass, chives and a host of greens have become staples in the preparation process.
The result has been pretty outstanding.
“One of my favourites is the Catch of the Day in Black Bean Sauce; it is the one I like,” he said. “It has my mouth watering.
“We have stayed pretty constant with the menu. It has worked, and people like all the dishes on the menu, so we haven’t played around with it too much.”