Fuchsia - Under The Knife
Among the multitude of restaurants and eateries that we Karachiites are blessed with, there are probably only a handful that almost never fail on the consistency factor. At the top of such never-fail fine dining options are the uber-suave and the very charming Fuchsia. Discreetly tucked away in a street of the upscale Zamzama district of Karachi, Fuchsia opened its doors in 2009 as a fusion cuisine restaurant; however, the menu fell a little short on the mass appeal factor to generate ample economies of scale. Hence, a menu overhaul ensued and converted the place into a sophisticated Thai restaurant, and ever since there has been no looking back. Consistently praised by food critics as well as patrons, Fuchsia has become a destination for foodies throughout the city for the best Thai cuisine pleasantly served in the most elegant surroundings.
The restaurant interior is the artwork of Naheed Mashooqullah who makes a steady use of the colour fuchsia in upholstery and on walls blending it harmoniously with the very dark teak tables and cream upholstered chairs. The lighting on both the floors is serene and creates a very chic ambiance with eye-catching artifacts adorning the corners and wall niches. The ground floor features a huge window to the kitchen where Fuchsia’s team of international and local chefs can be seen preparing authentic culinary masterpieces. While the original idea behind the window was to give the feel of an open kitchen where watching the cooking processes keeps the patrons entertained till the food is served, the chefs tend to forget that they are being watched and the bustling sometimes verges on rowdiness. Nevertheless, the service is by and large efficient, warm and friendly.
The menu reads well and with a plethora of interesting options, urges the diners to share the entrées in order to enjoy a variety of flavours and textures of the cuisine. The level of spice in certain items is indicated by the number of flames next to their names. Unlimited white rice is continuously brought to the table in a traditional Thai basket. I firmly believe that a Thai meal should consist of several dishes including a soup, a salad, an appetizer, a curry and a stir-fry item. The meal should be structured keeping in mind the synchrony and amalgam of flavours and aromas.
Lucky for us that we got to chat with the very hospitable young Business Manager of Fuchsia and Café Alyanto, Tanya Azmi, who made some superb recommendations from the menu, while we relished the artistic Amuse-Bouche. We started with ‘Clear Tom Yum Soup with Prawns, Lime, Lemongrass, Straw Mushrooms & Galangal’ and ‘Traditional Papaya Salad, Prawns and Birds Eye Chili, tossed in Sweet Tamarind Dressing’. The soup was intensely flavoured and very fragrant and was just the right start to the exotic meal. The Papaya Salad tasted scrumptious with an excellent balance of flavours between the sweetness of the dressing and the fiery zing of the chillis.
Next, Tanya’s pick from the appetizers was ‘Flame Grilled Soya Marinated Beef, served with a Chilli Dip with Roasted Ground Rice’ and from Dim Sum, she recommended ‘Hand Wrapped Prawn and Chestnut Dumplings with Lime and Chili Dip’. The Soya Marinated Beef was very succulent and aromatic and tasted splendid with the dip. The Dumplings, however, had an edge with their beautiful presentation and with a delectable tanginess from the lime and chilli, they were fresh and meaty.
Proceeding on to the main course, one of the most successful entrées of the afternoon was ‘Wok Fried Prawns with Sweet Basil and Oyster Sauce, Garlic and Pepper’. This was a platter of prawns fried in a lightly savoury sauce, the flavours enhanced by the addition of pepper and basil. Another star was the ‘Dry Curry Chicken with Thai Spices and Lemongrass’. The distinct charred flavor of the chicken combined well with the aromatic seasoning and the outcome was an entrée bursting with flavours. The ‘Cri