Visiting Fucina in the month of January, I felt compelled to give their Veganuary tasting menu a try after obvious over-indulgence during the festive period. Of course, trying vegan food shouldn’t be a one-off and even a one-month experiment and all the vegan dishes I tried are available on their normal a la carte menu with some minor alterations.
The decor is undeniably smart and classy and you wouldn’t have expected anything less from the restaurateur Kurt Zdesar, who has brought us, Chotte Matte and Black Roe. The undulating curves of their sculptural brick ceiling are masterful. Although, for special occasions, I would recommend hiring their private dining space in the basement which has an up-close and personal view of their open kitchen and also a spectacular looking wine tower.
The dishes are blissfully simple and genuinely a case of letting the top quality ingredients speak for themselves. The wood-fired sweet potato had a melt-in-your-mouth texture with the sweet notes incredibly pleasing on the palate.
Next was a very generous portion of baby spinach salad. It’s not a dish that will set the world alight but it will help to detox your body from the excesses of the festive season. It’s beautifully executed with slices of red peppers, crunchy yucca and an appetising citrusy dressing that really got the appetite going for the remaining courses.
The real star of the show was the Pappardelle della nonna; it’s the kind of homemade cooking we all yearn for. The pasta was thick and smooth whilst the smoked tomato sauce had an elegant sweetness that combined ideally with the pasta and fresh basil. As any Italian would tell you, the best pasta is the simplest. The charred broccoli that accompanied the pasta was fresh and firm but perhaps they could have gone in stronger on the chilli.
The last savoury course was a well-picked platter of seasonal vegetables. Courgette, red peppers, artichoke, aubergine, whatever healthy vegetables you can dream of was present. Similar to the broccoli dish, the aged balsamic vinegar could have been stronger but the platter would have made your GP extremely proud.
We finished off with a palate-cleansing lemon sorbet, which was artisanal and made in-house with minute pieces of lemon rind buried in the sorbet.
All in all, it was a satisfying meal in which I left with a cleansed body and a spring in my step. Although, the rest of their menu does look extremely mouthwatering and no doubt I will be back to try other dishes very soon.