Fumo’s menu features many traditional Italian dishes with chef Claudio Uccello adding his unique spin to most dishes.
To start, the venison carpaccio is a classic and comes served with crumbed goat’s cheese. The sardine skewer with raisins and vinegar is equally delicious. The gnocchi with fior di latte and broccoli is a delicious vegetarian option for a main course, as is the risotto with asparagus and Camembert. For meat lovers, the oxtail romana with herby ravioli and lentils is a winner, and the fussilloni pasta with slow-cooked lamb neck is a comfort-food favourite.
Finish with the mouth-puckering Amalfi lemon tart served in a perfectly crisp pastry case, topped with zingy lemon sorbet.
The wine list is impressive with many options available per style. Antonij Rupert, Dalla Cia, Tokara and Rust en Vrede all feature, along with the cellar selection of vintage SA and international wines such as Asara Bell Tower, Sassicaia and a ‘97 Boekenhoutskloof Cabernet Sauvignon.
The interior is a little confused, with elements of rock ’n roll diner and swanky gentleman’s club mixing to create a somewhat odd, masculine space.
Service is friendly and attentive, with food being served efficiently and glasses constantly topped up.
It seems to be a firm favourite with gentlemen gathering around expensive bottles of wine.
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The menu starts with a comprehensive list of tapas and starters – be sure to try the grilled sardines with pine nuts and raisins with a little vinegar dressing or the octopus, chorizo and cauliflower dish, which is totally delicious and with a sauce begging to be mopped up with some great bread. Other starter dishes include chicken thighs in Moroccan harissa; a selection of utterly delicious croquetas (in flavours like mushroom, chorizo and spinach) presented in a folded paper cone; lamb arrosticini (tiny lamb kebabs with an anchovy sauce).
Of course there is also a selection of pastas, risottos, raviolis, pizzas and items from the Josper grill, and there is a very popular goat’s stew cooked in a carolo sauce, served with polenta and peppers. For dessert try the cannoli Siciliani with pistachio ice cream; torta al limone or baked Napoletana ricotta cheesecake.
The cocktail list features some very creative cocktails such as the #42 (with Hendrick’s gin, raspberry jam, fresh lemon and earl grey, finished with prosecco), or the Fumo with Finlandia, Grand Marnier, cinnamon syrup and cranberry juice. The wine list kicks off with two and a half pages of champagne followed by some prosecco and MCC’s, and goes on to list some interesting wines.
Toni Signorelli is the front-of-house manager and will see that you are made to feel welcome, while the waiters and waitresses are well-trained, friendly, knowledgeable, helpful and also smartly dressed in black with bright white branded Laurent Perrier aprons.
The restaurant has recently had a total make-over that reorganised the kitchen and bar, opened them both up and improved flow considerably – gone is all the wood and stuffiness. The outside area and smoking section are much more casual with lounge furniture between a few tables.
Fumo appears to attract a lovely mix of clientele from the public, corporate and local worlds, keen to experience good Italian cuisine.
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